THE SCIENCE OF JETLAG
EVOLUTION OF FUN:
AND HOW TO BEAT IT
HISTORY OF CLIFTON HILL
on the coverâ€¦
BODY OF WORK: JANA WEBB OF THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF TORONTO AND HER E X PA N D I N G J O GA E M P I R E
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Volume 1 Issue 5 - July/August 2017
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THE SCIENCE OF JETLAG
EVOLUTION OF FUN:
AND HOW TO BEAT IT
HISTORY OF CLIFTON HILL
on the cover…
BODY OF WORK: TORONTO HOUSEWIFE’S JANA WEBB AND HER E X PA N D I N G J O GA E M P I R E
On the cover: Jana Webb on location in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Photograhy by David Haskell.
Today Magazine Niagara Edition is published by Rev Publishing Inc. All opinions expressed in Today Magazine Niagara Edition are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of Rev Publishing, it’s employees or owners. Reasonable care is taken to ensure that the information contained in this magazine is as up-to-date and accurate as possible, as of the time of publication, but no responsibility can be taken by Today Magazine Niagara Edition for any errors, omissions or comments made by writers or interviewees that are contained herein. Furthermore, responsibility for any losses, damages or distress resulting from adherence to any information made available through this magazine is not the responsibility of Today Magazine Niagara Edition. All unsolicited manuscripts and/or photographs submitted are assumed to be intended for publication or republication in whole or in part. The right to alter, edit or refuse photos and/or manuscripts intended for publication is assumed. All unsolicited material submitted to Today Magazine Niagara Edition are submitted at the author’s risk. Manuscripts and or photographs intended to be returned must be accompanied by sufficient postage. Today Today Magazine Niagara Edition does not assume any responsibility for any claims of our advertisers and reserves the right to refuse any advertising.
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A retired teacher, Sherman Zavitz has had a fascination with the history of Niagara Falls and area for many years. Active in many history-related organizations, he has authored five books and wrote a local history column for the Niagara Falls Review for 25 years. He has been recognized for his historical expertise by being appointed official historian for both the City of Niagara Falls, Ontario and the Niagara Parks Commission.
Julie’s love of reading good books and writing was sparked at a very young age. After earning her Bachelor of Commerce degree at the University of Guelph, majoring in Hotel and Food Administration, she returned home to Niagara Falls. While Julie considers the hospitality industry the meat and potatoes of her career, freelance writing is the delectable dessert! When she’s not busy enjoying her three kids, she and her hubby are root … root… rooting for the Blue Jays. email@example.com
Mariana Bockarova is a PhD Candidate at the University of Toronto, where she teaches Psychological Resiliency, the Science of Happiness, and the Psychology of Relationships. Her research explores narrative medicine and mental health. She also holds a Master’s degree from Harvard University concentrated in Psychology.
A writer for REV publishing for over three years, Gabrielle has written for numerous REV publications including Taste, Shopping & Travel. She is a graduate of the University of Ottawa’s Journalism program and has written for a variety of newspapers including the National Post, Ottawa Citizen and Montreal Gazette.
Adam Rempel is a Financial Advisor with PenFinancial Credit Union. A proud Brock University and Leadership Niagara graduate, Adam is happy to be working at a truly local credit union that helps grow the lives of over 20,000 Niagara residents and allows him to give back and support Niagara communities by delivering financial literacy programming. You can often catch Adam riding through Short Hills Park or taking in a live show in downtown St. Catharines. Check out Adam’s financial blog at trulylocaladvice.ca.
Andrew is a freelance writer specializing in travel, history and lifestyle. He has passion for new adventure, experiences and also for exploring little known stories. Andrew is never without a book or three in hand and some obscure historical fact at the tip of his tongue. Follow him @discoveriesAM
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// I N S I D E FOOD & DRINK
LIFESTYLE & CULTURE
Photo: Christopher Balogh
MAKING THE LIST Cottage Country is undergoing a culinary revolution. Innovative chefs are breathing fresh life into resorts and restaurants across the region, offering exciting new dining opportunities for tourist and cottagers alike.
16 CYCLING, COOKING, TASTING THE GASTRONOMICAL CAPITAL OF ITALY Welcome to Chef Bike Tour, the dream of Tourissimo’s founder Beppe Salerno, who together with his team, orchestrated five days of riding combined with some of the best food and celebration that Emilia Romagna has to offer. feature – on the table Profiles of chefs and restaurants in the Niagara Region. 21 kotouki Embracing Greek heritage 28 the chase One of Toronto’s hottest reservations..
THE SCIENCE OF JET LAG Until altering our genes or disrupting proteins in our brain becomes a reality, scientists have already identified safe and effective ways to lessen the desynchronization of our circadian rhythms. As it turns out, it’s actually pretty simple.
DECONSTRUCTING DRACULA The character of Dracula has haunted us for over a century; in fact this year marks the 120th anniversary of Bram Stoker’s iconic novel. This summer, we find him lurking in Niagara-on-the-Lake and on stage at the Shaw Festival. Come with us on a journey behind the curtain.
41 TRULY LOCAL ADVICE Adam Rempel discusses renovations and real estate values. Where will you see the most return on your investment when it comes to making changes?
THE EVOLUTION OF FUN It’s popularly known as Niagara Falls’ “Street of Fun.” Its actual name is Clifton Hill and this is its story.
MONEY TALK David Somerville discusses the importance of purchasing insurance before traveling to ensure you can enjoy your vacation without the added stress of having to pay for any medical emergencies.
IGNITE A BETTER YOU Dr. Christina Plaskos delves into the notion of detoxing, for both the body and the mind
BODY OF WORK Jana Webb is not a complicated person, but her story is certainly an interesting one. She touts: a strong work ethic from growing up on the family farm, intuitive business acumen, she shares an impermeable bond with her son, and is driven to seek out a greater purpose.
OVERSHADOWED HISTORY AT NAVY HALL In the shadow of Fort George is the remnant of a lesser known, but perhaps no less important military facility: Navy Hall. At one time, it included a small shipyard, docks, warehouses and residences.
LOVE IT OR LIST IT Every place you visit has those quintessential experiences that all visitors should try, at least once, and well, Niagara is no exception. These are some of the things we think you should put on your Niagara bucket list.
HOT FUN IN THE SUMMERTIME Niagara is home to a vast network of world class beaches and parks that border a few of Ontario’s Great Lakes. These free admission beaches not only feature sandy strips of sand and clear swimmable water, but are also surrounded by world class restaurants, access to land and water recreational sports and green spaces for all ages.
FESTIVALS AND EVENTS Annually throughout the summer and fall months, the Niagara Region, Muskokas and city of Toronto host a vast selection of both small and large scale festivals and events – drawing both locals and visitors alike to partake in and enjoy. There is no lack of things to do when deciding how to fill those sweet summer weekends and vacation hours.
TODAY’S PEOPLE Snapshots of you out and about at community events and festivals.
TIME CAPSULE Since its opening, the living history museum has been transporting people for centuries into Ontario’s past, to a time when Sainte-Marie was the only European settlement in Ontario. The site is not only among the province’s most historically important locations, but also one of its most engaging.
MAKING THE LIST A N D R E W H I N D ’ S P I C K S F O R S O M E O F T H E B E S T C O U N T R Y C OT TA G E E AT S I N M U S KO K A Cottage country is undergoing a culinary revolution. Innovative chefs are breathing fresh life into resorts and restaurants across the region, offering exciting new dining opportunities for tourist and cottagers alike. There are numerous restaurants to choose from across Parry Sound, Muskoka, and Haliburton. Everyone has their favorite, and opinions run high as to which are the best. So we’ve done the hard work for you, narrowing down the list to a handful of the best, each with one with something unique to offer. Here, then, are the best Cottage Country eats.
THE ONE WITH THE BREW: R H U B A R B R E S TA U R A N T
Located at the intersections of Highways 18 and 35 in Haliburton along the shores of Mirror Lake, Rhubarb has established itself as probably the finest dining destination in Haliburton. The fact that it is paired with an award-winning craft brewery is foam atop the ale, so to speak. Executive Chef and co-owner Christoph Carl is at the forefront of the movement to source food locally within Haliburton, and as such everything at Rhubarb is made from scratch, nothing is frozen, and everything comes from regional farmers. “We’re the only Feast Ontario restaurant in the County, a label which signifies that we use almost exclusively local produce and meat, and which carries with it a promise of quality,” explains Terri Matthews-Carl, Christoph’s wife and business partner. “Our greens, for example, are picked for us every morning at 5am. You can’t get any fresher than that, and you taste the difference in our food.” The incorporation of local ingredients inspires Carl’s menu, which includes dynamic flavours to satisfy any taste bud. Pot pies and burgers compete with juicy duck breast and PEI mussels. As one might expect, the menu includes a great beer selection from the on-site Boshkung Brewery. While there are a number of seasonal offerings, Boshkung boasts four staple beers: North Country Kellerbier, your typical German style ale; Kungaroo, a refreshing IPA; 35 and 118 (named for the location), a smooth cream ale; and my favourite, Black Rock, a dark beer with hints of dried fruit, chocolate, coffee and caramel. Each flavour is unique and delightful. But don’t take my work for it: Boshkung has won medals at several recent Canada Brewery Awards. Rhubarb Restaurant and Boshkung Brewery represent a perfect pairing for a memorable meal. Here’s a hint: if it’s a Friday, Saturday or Sunday, you’ll be serenaded during dinner by live music.
THE ONE WITH THE VIEW: M U S KO K A B AY C L U B , G R AV E N H U R S T
The Muskoka Bay Club in Gravenhurst offers one of the most stunning views in Cottage Country. These views manage to almost overshadow the food, which is saying something in light of the refined menu expertly-prepared by Executive Chef Andrew Dymond. But note I said almost. The real highlight here is the food; the views are merely a memorable backdrop to a great meal. Muskoka Bay Club is an exclusive golf community, famed for its impeccably manicured course and matchless service. Overlooking the greens from a perch atop a 100-foottall rocky cliff is the clubhouse and your dining destination for the evening. The view, encompassing a vista of woods, ponds and manicured golf greens, is, in a word, spectacular. Chef Dymond, previously from some of the most prestigious locations in Ontario, including Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Prince of Wales Hotel, brings his unique flair and vision to Muskoka Bay Club, where guests have two distinct dining venues to choose from.
The Cliffside Bar and Grill, open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, offers items that are great for a light meal after a round of golf, including burgers, smoked duck panini, fish tacos (made with pickerel fillets), and buttermilk onion rings. The Muskoka Room is more refined, with mushroom ravioli, a daily seafood feature, and pan-roasted tenderloin of pork. “The dishes are uncomplicated because I like the flavours to speak for themselves,” Dymond says. “There’s no pretension here; just good food cooked well, with consistency and care.” Dymond’s philosophy is a recipe for success, because the food is eat-every-morselgood, managing to overshadow the sweeping views that are the envy of Muskoka. Great food, a refined setting, and entrancing views—Muskoka Bay Club has mastered the recipe for a great dining experience.
THE RESORT ONE: M US KO K A C H O PH O US E Muskoka Chophouse, the newest restaurant at JW Marriott Muskoka Rosseau Resort elevates the cottage steakhouse to new levels. “There’s nothing like this in terms of a steakhouse in Muskoka. It’s a refreshingly straightforward but sophisticated dining experience,” says Executive Chef Shaun Crymble, who returned to his native Ontario to step into the culinary leadership role at the resort after stints at a number of Marriott properties in the United States. “It’s about elegance but simplicity.” The elegance and simplicity begins with one’s first impression. The 60-seat restaurant features hand-polished wood floors, polished but rustic-style tabletops, wood and stone accents, and deer antler chandeliers. Dinner begins with a selection of to-die-for appetizers, including crab cakes made with jumbo lump crab meat and pickled scallion served with chipotle aioli. As one would expect, however, the steak and mains section of the menu is the real event, focusing on certified Angus cuts of beef. The real stars of the show are the 32-ounce porterhouse and the shareable “tomahawk,” an elegant rib-eye steak with the entire bone left that’s a mouth-watering masterpiece. Rather than dress up the dishes, Crymble lets the classic preparation speak for itself—“it’s all about great, natural flavours.” For those looking for something other than beef, there is also a Provini veal chop, tuna loin steak and house-brined organic chicken breast. Make sure to save room for dessert because Crymble and his team make their own decadent desserts that represent the perfect ending to a satisfying dinner. I can vouch for the sheer delight that is the baked Alaska, a sponge cake base made in-house at their bakery, then layered with vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice cream and topped with a fluffy white meringue that’s torched for the dessert’s signature caramelized look. Muskoka Chophouse has redefined the Cottage Country steakhouse. The result is perfection. >>
BY ANDREW HIND
//FOOD & DRINK
THE BAKERY: O R R V I L L E B A K E R Y B A R I S TA , O R R V I L L E
Rod Adams bakes with passion. You taste it in every bite of a butter tart with crust as light as air and a filling as delicious as it is sticky, or every chew of a cookie that somehow manages to be both crunchy and soft at the same time. It makes the Orrville bakery he owns with his wife, Virginia, a must-stop for people heading to the cottage for the weekend and a popular destination for tourists passing through. Orrville Bakery Barista isn’t exactly what you expect from a village bakeshop. Somehow, it manages to blend the warm hospitality and lovingly-made goods of a small-town bakery with the happening vibe and sophistication of a big city coffee-shop. “I do all my own baking. I wake up at 3:30 every morning to make fresh bread and make over 800 butter tarts every week,” Adams explains, noting that his daughter, Josie, a high school student, decorates cakes and cupcakes with a skill beyond her years. Virginia and the couple’s other daughter, Charlie, manage the front of the house. As soon as you enter, you’re greeted by the intoxicating aroma of ‘made-to-order Americanos’ coffee and homemade breads. Counters are filled-to-overflowing with cookies, pies, buns, cakes and tarts—a dizzying selection of goodness. A youngster presses her face against the counter’s display window, mind racing as she attempts to decide just which treat she will implore her grandfather to purchase on her behalf. In the end, she can’t decide and begs for three. Naturally, granddad indulges. With so many delectable items to pick from, it’s hard to choose. “People love our butter tarts and cinnamon rolls,” explains Adams, “but my specialty is cheesecake.” While every customer has their own preference, they all have one thing in common: they leave with a coffee in one hand and a boxful of goodies in the other. You will too.
T HE FA MILY-FRIENDLY ONE: C R O S S R O A D S R E S TA U R A N T, R O S S E A U
Crossroads Restaurant is aptly named. It’s located at a busy crossroads (Highway 141 and Aspdin Road), and lies at the heart of Rosseau both literally and—in light of its popularity with diners—figuratively. The interior is rustic, in keeping with the nature of Muskoka, but dark woods add a touch of class. An expansive patio offers a sunny spot for a summer meal overlooking Lake Rosseau. And when the food arrives you can instantly see it’s made with love. “We provide real cooking,” says Julie Lalonde, co-owner of the restaurant with her husband, Richard. “It’s local food, fresh food. Everything is done with care and passion.” Both husband and wife are talented chefs with extensive experience in the culinary field and familiarity with cottage country cuisine. Julie, a pastry chef, grew up in nearby Sundridge, while Richard, originally from Montreal, spent three years at Port Carling’s Sherwood Inn before the pair opened their own restaurant. One of the dishes that have been a staple on the menu since then is the fish and chips. Beer-battered in Muskoka Cream Ale, lightly breaded, perfectly golden in coloration and oh-so tasty, it’s easy to see why. Another staple is the burger, a magnificently juicy beef patty served with fresh-cut fries. For a taste of cottage country, consider the Georgian Bay pickerel, served on a bed of sinfully-good warm potato salad (“It’s one of the best-sellers on our summer menu,” Julie explains, “it’s a perfect light meal for summer, and pickerel and cottage country just go together.”) Make sure to leave room for Julie’s desserts; your diet can wait for another day. Crossroads served up a great meal, using fresh local ingredients, in a relaxing atmosphere in a small town setting. TM
CYCLING, COOKING, TASTING THE GASTRONOMICAL CAPITAL OF ITALY
Photographed and written by Christopher Balogh
What do chefs and cyclists have in common? Hard work? A love of food? A rebellious side?
Why not gather a few famous chefs who happen to be cyclists and ride with them through a region of Italy that has a rich gastronomic tradition? Perhaps throw in some stops at famous restaurants, a
prestigious cooking school and wrap it all up at a Fellini inspired circus tent filled with gourmet street food. Sounds a bit like a strange dream doesnâ€™t it?>>
elcome to Chef Bike Tour, the dream of Tourissimo’s founder Beppe Salerno, who together with his team, orchestrated five days of riding combined with some of the best food and celebration that Emilia Romagna has to offer. Not one to pass on riding and eating like a king, in what has become one of my favorite regions of Italy, I found myself in the middle of it. Bikes truly out-number cars in Ferrara; the medieval walled city where our odyssey began. After an easy recon ride around the walled city, our group of twenty became familiar with each others names and hometowns. Next on the agenda was an excellent guided walking tour of Ferrara. The stories gave life to the architecture and of the flourishing jewish community that dates back to the 11th century. On the way to our first dinner, Beppe explained his idea of a “stage dish.” Since each day would bring us through a new area of Emilia Romagna, the “stage dish” would derive from the specialties unique to each area, while reflecting the seasonality of the key ingredients. A rather delicious concept, certainly one that foodies on bikes can relate to. Our first “stage dish” was one of many courses served at Cucina Bacilieri in the heart of Ferrara. The capelacci di zucca con burro e salvia or pumpkin capelacci with butter and sage, is the signature dish of Ferrara. Bacilieri’s handmade version was delicate and deep with just a touch of nutmeg recalling the origins of this renaissance dish first recorded in 1584. Also memorable was the twisted Coppia Ferrarese, a hard sourdough bread made with malt, lard and olive oil. Between dessert and coffee, Beppe smiled wryly while briefing us on the following day. By now we all realized that this was to be a gastronomic adventure like no other. We rolled gently out of Ferrara following the walls of the historic centre. Our destination Ravenna, a mere 97km away, a respectable distance in the cycling world. With all riders equipped with their own GPS, it was pleasant to ride at one’s own pace. Although Chef Bike Tour has it’s heart in the traditional, the thoughtful touches of technology made the days more enjoyable. A wifi equipped support van turned refueling stops in the middle of nowhere, into opportunities to post photos eating seasonal cherries! The highlight of day two which featured a stretch along a large brackish lagoon, was the lunch stop at Agriturismo Prato Pozza. Getting off the bike in 35-degree weather, a cool glass of Merlot Lambrusco went down a little too well. By the time we came face to face with the “stage dish”, Valle de Comacchio eel, we had taken the edge off, so to speak. We learned how the eel was treated with beer, lightly cooked in the oven, marinated and preserved in oil. Stuffed and slightly drunk, thankful for the coffee kick, we managed the last 20 km into Ravenna. Somewhat busy on the outskirts, the centre of Ravenna soon showed us its charms. We cruised by the Dante museum, collecting the factoid of Ravenna being the place of the great poet’s death. Things you learn while pedaling! Dodging pedestrians over cobbles and through archways, we arrived at the main piazza to find the luggage van. Room keys in hand, with only the suitcase dance left to tackle, we made plans to sample the local Aperol spritz in the square. What gastronomic delight did Chef Bike Tour plan for in Ravenna? Our group marched through the old centre in the early evening. Still within sight of the old walls, we were welcomed at Antica Trattoria al Gallo, an institution in Ravenna since 1909. Run by the same family for four generations, it exudes style and tradition. Every corner is decorated with early Italian art deco pieces, and the walls are covered with photos of famous patrons. It is intimate, yet opens to a lush garden for lounging amongst statues and fountains. The wines made a lasting impression. I settled into the garden with my favorite, a glass of Sangiovese Noelia Ricci 2014 Superiore, and watched the staff float through their closing routines. The owner and his son stopped the last of us on our way out of the empty restaurant, inviting us to stay a little longer to meet Maestro Riccardo Muti who was on his way. Becoming a Google expert on someone in five minutes. Quite the topic! After a very memorable discussion with the music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, we savored our walk in the cool night air under the lamplight of the old streets. One of the shortest days distance wise, day three was full of interesting stops. Our first visit was to the Cervia Salt Museum after 27 kilometers of riding. Although it involved some walking on the shadeless salt flats, our guide was informative. We even looked at a Styrofoam cup filled with the red shrimps that color the flamingoes who shared our route. From Cervia, our next stop was Florlimpopoli’s famous Casa Artusi. The renowned cookery school was founded in the name of Pellegrino Artusi whose book, Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well can be found in homes the world over. We settled in for quite a few hours with a surprising hands-on chance to make pasta from scratch,
before a large lunch featuring pasta sauce prepared by our three guest chefs; Mary Sue Milliken, Travis Flood and Benjamin Cohn. It was one of our longest lunches but with less then 10 km to our next hotel in Bertinoro, we couldn’t complain. After eating and drinking for days, albeit with some substantial calorie burning, the thermal waters of the Grand Hotel Terme Fratta came along at just the right time. An old majestic hotel set in the hills, its rejuvenating thermal baths have long been a destination for visitors from all over Europe. Going from cycling kits to white robes, we all took advantage of the many springs and treatments, marveling at the European logic of having the bar open onto the hot springs to add some suds to the soak. Having arrived for the start of the Celestial Nights festival, we enjoyed the views of iridescent blue fabric flowing through town. We were excited to hear that we would follow the festival up into our next stop in Bagno di Romagna. The penultimate day of riding was the hottest so far and included the most challenging climbs. Reaching our lunch stop at the Tenuta Pertinello winery involved a 16 percent climb on a very narrow rough road on the edge of Emilia Romagna’s border with Tuscany. Accustomed by now to Romagnolo hospitality, we ate and drank with abandon. Chef Travis Flood performed a sabrage on the last bottle of Metodo Classico Extra brut, achieved with red Sangiovese grapes in the champenoise method. After a homemade cake adorned with the word WELCOME, ripe in-season apricots and cherries, we were stunned by the care taken to serve us all coffee from several bilaettis (known as a moka pot in Italy ). Keep in mind that a rural winery’s kitchen is bare basics only. Even the de rigeur schiuma , made with the first concentrated drops of coffee and sugar, was lovingly spooned into our espressos. It would after all be unthinkable to skip the coffee regardless of the extra effort required. I had secretly been looking forward to the climb into Bagno di Romagna, our next stopover. Our climb would follow the exact of the stage 11 route of the 100th edition of the Giro D’Italia. Nothing like challenging yourself on a climb with the names of the pros still painted on the road under your wheels. Even the pink bikes, banners and ribbons still adorned much of the route into this proud stage town. I truly enjoyed every switchback, and easily found our vans in front of the Hotel Tosco Romagnolo. Hundreds of pink umbrellas floated above the narrow streets. The Tosco Romagnolo has a fabulous rooftop pool fed with sulfuric spring water. A soak in the sun after letting the warm thermal water massage the shoulders seemed to make the church bells ring out from a medieval steeple. I really felt like I had gone to cyclist heaven. That night we toured the extensive wine cellar with Master Chef Paolo Teverini before finding our tables for yet another engaging dinner. It was a must, it seems, to wander into the square to the main stage for the Celestial Nights celebration. Despite the announcement of a very early start time, we summoned some energy to dance in the square to a very capable cover band with a hot horn section. If we would have tried to say something nice to each other about the early start time, it might have been to mention the perfect light or the quiet roads. The reality of the last piece of the tour, the road to Rimini, was upon us. It would be one of the longest days in the saddle so far. The 90 km route began by skirting the ridges of the Appenines before crossing the open plains towards the Adriatic. The fertile lands of Emilia Romagna were of great importance to the Romans, whose via Aemilia begins in Ariminum (Rimini). It was completed in 187 BC, allowing them access to the riches of the north. Leaving Bagno di Romagna, we were making our way towards the mother load of products, to understand, sample, and acquire the best of the rich region that we had cycled through. Awaiting us in Rimini, the Al Meni Market , a showcase of the finest goods from Emilia Romagna, the region with the most DOP and Igp (protected designation of origin status) in all of Europe. Rimini is not only the head of the via Aemilia but also the birthplace of Federico Fellini. The Al Meni big top takes its inspiration from Fellini’s film 8 1/2 , which the director shot in the majestic Grand Hotel. Fellini’s pied a terre was room 201 at the Grand Hotel which is still available to guests seeking extravagant accommodations. Our ride proved to be a beautiful rolling descent with fantastic morning views of the hills and valleys. We stopped to enjoy the famous formaggio di fossa, which literally means - cheese of the pit. The strong cheese is ripened in pits dug into the soft rock foundation in Sogliano al Rubicone. Our arrival on wide boulevards was picturesque. The buzz in Rimini was centered around the Grand Hotel where an elegant garden party was in full swing. Only steps away the Al Meni big top filtered the sea breeze, the sunshine, and the intriguing smells. Once again, I contemplated the planning involved and saluted Tourissimo. The idea is wonderful, the fact that it all exists in one region and can be presented in the form of a bike tour, is very special. The ritual of sharing meals had been fine tuned over the week. Now, Michelin starred chefs from Emilia Romagna, set up around the big top would contribute to our last meal together. It was an unrivaled street food party with a treat for dessert. Our three celebrity chefs each created a gelato flavor with the help of the Gelato University of Carpegiani. Stepping back from the laughter as our chefs scooped gelato, I savored Benjamin Cohn’s olive oil and Cervian sea salt gelato. The setting sun, the food, the smiles…yes, yet another perfect moment in Emilia Romagna… land with a soul. TM
Interested in one of Tourissimo’s Chef Bike Tours? visit www.tourissimo.travel/chef-bike-tours or email: firstname.lastname@example.org CHEF BIKE TOURS 2018 May 5th-12th - Chef Bike Tour Sicily June 12th- 18th – Chef Bike Tour Emilia Romagna October 1st -7th – Chef Bike Tour Piedmont
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TONAWANDA, NY 2319 SHERIDAN DRIVE (716) 862-4246
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In the Southgate Plaza
CLARENCE, NY 8560 MAIN STREET (716) 580-3614
SERVING FINE ITALIAN FOOD SINCE 1927! TONY D’AMORE INFO@WILLOBRIDGE.CA WILLOWBRIDGENIAGARA.COM 905.328.4529
2220 Pine Avenue Niagara Falls, NY 14301 U.S.A. 716.285.9341 • Comorestaurant.com
ON THE TABLE//KOUTOUKI GREEK CUISINE
Kali orexi! [ E n j o y Yo u r M e a l !]
BY GAB R IELLE TIEMAN - LEE • PHOTOS BY DAVID HASKELL
loating from table to table, the staff weave in and out like a dance; balancing towering stacks of rich lamb chops, flaming plates of Saganaki and savoury grape leaf wrapped Dolmadakia as rhythmic Greek music strums in the background, keeping pace with the busy restaurant. This is Koutouki – a truly authentic Greek culinary experience nestled among the take away chains and neon lights of Niagara Falls. This family owned and operated restaurant has brought their take on fine Greek cuisine and culture to both the locals and the revolving tourism crowd for many years; continually keeping true to their belief that quality, taste and consistency is what counts. And Koutouki’s continued success in the city’s restaurant-saturated core is a testament to just how right their culinary beliefs are. The people behind the food are husband and wife duo Sheana and Sotiris Scordas. This couple of over 34 years is far from being new on the culinary scene; both have worked in restaurants for countless years and have owned over half a dozen throughout Ontario. But it wasn’t until 2009 that they decided to give Niagara a try, even though they knew it was a tough market, with over 400 restaurants in the small radius. “There was a tough but good market in [Niagara Falls] because there was nothing already existing with the sort of caliber we knew we could put here,” said Sotiris. “We weren’t going to build a shish kabob house - even though the Greeks are known for souvlaki and food like that. So we thought, with the experience we have had over the years, we could upscale Greek food here…”
“… And show another part of Greece,” finished Sheana. “We wanted to make a statement,” said Sotiris. “Otherwise you’re just another guy down the street from somebody else.” And a statement they have made. They soon found their home in a rundown building on Ferry Street – a once neglected area of Niagara Falls; and though it was in need of some work, they soon took to the area. “It was dilapidated, abandoned for at least five years, the street was a mess ... it was the worst part of the town,” said Sotiris. “Every other Greek was giving us six months to survive in the business.” Following seven months of renovations, the restaurant was up and ready – with the building’s bones still intact, but featuring a fresh contemporary style and old world feel. But once they opened, Sotiris said the city began working on the street, and soon construction surrounded their building. “We said, ‘What are we going to do now - there is no access to the street’,” said Sotiris. “And yet, people crawled through the ditch to come into [the restaurant].” Years later, people continue to rush through their doors no matter the obstacle; clambering to fill the intimate booths and enjoy traditional Greek cooking. Inspired by tradition, the menu features a diverse album of family recipes that have been perfected over the years. Offering a one-of-a-kind appetizer menu which includes Greek favourites like phyllo wrap feta with Greek honey, tangy pureed dips and spinach and feta Spanakotyropita to entrees such as the classic meat and potato layered Moussaka, signature lamb dishes and the tender char broiled Octopus Sta Karvouna – which has drawn hungry travelers from across the globe to one of their tables. Sotiris and Sheana proudly prep each morning and make every single menu item in house. “Right down to cutting the meat,” said Sheana. “A lot of love and effort goes into the food. We wouldn’t serve anything we would not eat. And we love to eat. “ “We prepare everything with the same care,” said Sotiris.
“The items on our menu are items that nobody else has.” Sotiris said he learned to cook as a child by watching his family in the kitchen – whom owned a bakery at home in Larissa, Greece, an area known for their diverse agriculture. Sotiris said his mother spoiled him, always cooking him “a little bit of everything” at every meal, and teaching him about food and cooking from the heart. “You have to have [cooking] inside you - you have to have an eye,” said Sotiris. “I never went to school to learn how to cook. You have to have an eye for plating - this can’t be taught.” Growing up in an agriculture rich area of Greece also instilled Sotiris from a young age with a dedication to only using the best and freshest ingredients available and being consistent with these ingredients. “I always use hot house tomatoes,” said Sotiris. “It does not matter the season or the cost, I use them and I won’t change to something else because it will change the taste.” This as well goes for their feta – the best melt in your mouth feta you will ever taste. “It is almost like butter,” said Sotiris. “You can taste the difference. The flavour is so different. And this is what makes the difference in the quality of food; those little things that are kind of hidden.” To accompany the food is an impressive collection of wine comprised of private Greek imports and an evolving assembly of local Ontario wines – brought to the table in traditional copper plated Greek mugs to maintain their temperatures. All wines are selected by Sheana and Sotiris’ impossibly welcoming daughter and in house sommelier Georgina – who has worked alongside her parents even before she was tall enough to see over the counter. “I used to wash dishes when I was three, standing on an overturned milk crate,” said Georgina. “This is where I have always felt where I belonged.” A single visit to Koutouki will leave you loyal to the establishment – and left feeling like a member of the family. TM
In Good Taste showcases a variety of Niagara’s most melt in your mouth, show stopping, delectable dining establishments and wineries. Whether their menus are unique to a restaurant or a familiar food that is prepared in a way you’ve never tasted before, it’s evident that Niagara is home to a food culture that is growing every day, and while it can be hard to choose where to engage your taste buds first, we hope these profiles give you a good head start. >>
Nestled in a century old building on Church Street in St. Catharines, sits Mele Trattoria, serving the kind of food you might recognize from your Nonna’s kitchen: authentic Italian dishes made from recipes passed down generation to generation. Everything is made to order, and you can taste the freshness. It’s a quaint, intimate restaurant that invites conversation, while sipping on an espresso or a glass of wine and just really enjoying the taste of good food. A seasonal wood fire pizza is out back on lovely patio hidden by fences and climbing vines creating the perfect amount of privacy. The prices are reasonable, the service is friendly and above all, the food is amazing! Reservations are recommended. Free corking on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Seeking an education of the senses? Look no further than Benchmark Restaurant at Niagara College. Benchmark presents an exciting dining opportunity, showcasing food, wine and beer created, prepared and presented by students from the programs at the Canadian Food and Wine Institute. Our rotating menu remains local and seasonal, including college-grown, regional and provincial bounties. All menu offerings are based on our academic semesters, allowing students to hone their skills and attain success at great culinary destinations. The dining room offers a picturesque view of our 40 acre vineyard to enhance your experience with a vibrant ambiance. Reservations recommended.
STUDENTS OF THE CANADIAN FOOD AND WINE INSTITUTE
6 Church St, St. Catharines, ON 905.685.6353 | meletrattoria.com
135 Taylor Road., Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON 905.641.2252 ext. 4619 | ncbenchmark.ca
IN GOOD TASTE
LA SCALA RISTORANTE
Savour the perfect pairing at Kitchen76 with dishes specially created to compliment our full spectrum of wines, icewines and sparkling. Delight your palate with the everchanging tastes and flavours of the season inspired by the Italian table. Incorporating some of the best cheeses, fine Italian olive oil and other Italian imported ingredients, our menu features locally grown vegetables, fruits and herbs, some from our very own garden. Kitchen76 provides a warm and inviting atmosphere. The stone fireplace, rustic rafters and communal table with panoramic vineyard views allow for formal or casual dining. The terrace offers magnificent al fresco winery dining. Our table is yours!
Once in a while in life, people come across a place where time stands still…where pride and passion still exist, and love for food is evident. With our new exciting location, NEW private Tuscan room and sleek lounge, La Scala is ready to embrace all of our old and new customers. Nestled in the heart of downtown St.Catharines, La Scala Ristorante offers many Italian recipes which are generations old. Freshness, and local content is extremely important here all complimented with VQA or wines from our extensive list. New features created by the chef daily and in house catering available as well as on site small banquets and weddings.
CHEF JUSTIN LESSO
240 John St. E, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON 905.468.0592 | twosistersvineyards.com
9 Queen Street, Saint Catharines, ON 905.684-5448 | lascalaristorante.ca
MEGALOMANIAC JOHN HOWARD CELLARS OF DISTINCTION The cellars and vineyards of Megalomaniac sit on a 96 acre site in Vineland. The winery boasts a newly completed 30,000 square foot winemaking and hospitality facility with gorgeous views of the Toronto ad Niagara Falls skylines. Of note to try are the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay crafted by winemaker Sebastien Jacquey and his dynamic cellar team. Summer hours are from 11am - 6pm Email email@example.com
3930 Cherry Avenue, Vineland, ON 905.562.5155 | megalomaniacwine.com
STRADA WEST EAT & SIP HOUSE Hosts, brothers, Anthony and Tom Roberto welcome you to Strada West, centrally located on Lundy’s Lane. In keeping with family traditions the food is all prepared in house! Their menu features homemade pasta, sauce, hamburger patties and meatballs. The menu also features specialty burgers and sandwiches using bison, lamb, lobster and veal. Pasta dishes include fettuccine, gnocchi and ravioli. Plus they have a great wine selection & 9 beers on tap! Winners of the Reader’s Choice, Best Overall Restaurant Award and Trip Advisor’s Certificate of Excellence. Strada West, Eat & Sip House. Located on the WEGO Red Line and plenty of on site parking, reservations are suggested.
ANTHON Y AND TOM ROBERTO
7805 Lundy’s Lane, Niagara Falls, ON 905.371.2272 | stradawest.com
IN GOOD TASTE
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CASA MIA RISTORANTE
Casa Mia showcases their new casual bar! Owned and operated by the Mollica Family for the past 32 years, offers an outstanding dining experience, regardless of the occasion. And serves as a gathering place for food lovers who pay homage to the creativity, flair and culinary expression that defines matriarch and chef Luciana Mollica. The diverse menu abounds with creations, each imbued with vibrant colour, life and flavour. Located in the heart of Historic Stamford Village and gateway to Niagara’s Wine Trail. Niagara’s favourite local neighborhood Italian Restaurant. Complimentary shuttle service from Fallsview District Hotels. For reservations and more info call us at 905-356-5410.
Gusto at Johnny Rocco’s means savour. Savour the flavours of Italy. From our succulent hand rolled Zia’s Rice Balls, to our hand tossed pizza dough, cooked to perfection in our 600 degree wood fired oven. Pair our traditional dishes with our vast array of Italian and local wines. At Johnny Rocco’s gli amici sono la famiglia –Our friends are all family.
Coco’s is a very popular restaurant destination for tourists and locals alike. Guests rave about our famous wood-fired steaks and gourmet pizzas. Watch our staff prepare your fresh pizza from start to finish, it’s a cooking show right in front of your very eyes.
Your experience at Copacabana begins with a trip to our “Galleria” where you will be tempted by fresh baked breads and dips from our open concept bakery, fresh cheeses cut from the wheel, and expertly hand sliced charcuterie selections. Help yourself to as many crisp salads and colorful starters as you want; but leave room, your experience is just beginning.
CHEFS CLAUDIO & LUCIANA MOLLICA
3518 Portage Road, Niagara Falls, ON 905.356.5410 | casamiaristorante.com
St. Catharines 271 Merritt St. | 905.680.9300 Niagara Falls 6889 Lundy’s Lane | 905.358.0004
CHEF JOSHUA DAVIS
271 Merritt St., St. Catharines, ON 905.680.9300 | johnnyroccos.com
Enjoy the awesome ambiance under the starlit Niagara skies as we offer nightly entertainment on the Terrace from 7:00pm onwards (in season only). Best of all, we offer ample free parking for all our guests! So visit Coco’s next time you’re in Niagara Falls and enjoy good times and great food that only Coco’s can deliver.
5339 Murray Street, Niagara Falls, ON 905.356-1333 ext. 171 | cocosniagarafalls.com
Back at your table, our carvers will serve up a feast of various CAB (Certified Angus) grilled meats prepared in a number of ways. Elevate your senses and sip on exotic cocktails and fine wines long with enjoying live entertainment on weekends. Copacabana is not just about the dining, it’s about the experience!
COPACABANA GRILLED BR AZILIAN
6671 Fallsview Blvd, Niagara Falls, ON 1.888.432.6721 | 905.354.8775 | thecopa.ca
THE KEG STEAKHOUSE + BAR
BUCHANANS STEAK & SEAFOOD
RUTH’S CHRIS STEAK HOUSE
OLIV TASTING ROOM & RESTAURANT
Dine overlooking Niagara Falls in The Keg Steakhouse + Bar, located on the 9th floor of the Embassy Suites Niagara Falls Fallsview. This landmark location offers guests floor-to-ceiling panoramic views of the famous Falls and the highest quality steaks and seafood for a dining experience to remember.
Given it’s twelve years of service, this local hot spot was ready for a refresh, a reawakening if you will. Renovated dining room reopens with a blend of modern steakhouse and chic lounge – new menu items mixed with classic favorites like shrimp cocktail and French onion soup. This home-grown restaurant offers an appealing selection of hand-cut steaks charbroiled to your liking, tasty seafood, pasta & fresh salads. Lunch $12 – 16, Dinner $16 – 38. Savour Niagara Menu features $5 VQA Niagara wines & craft brews, $5 appetizers – daily noon – 6 pm. Live dinner music select Fridays/Saturdays. Complimentary on-site self parking. Event space for up to 250 guests. Located at the DoubleTree Resort on Stanley Avenue.
The memory of a great meal stays with you long after the table has been cleared. This is why at Ruth’s Chris we thrive on our great food and service. Our menu offers a variety of dining options that will please all of our guests. Our passion lies in our high quality ingredients, attention to detail and that special sizzle. Inside Ruth’s Chris Steak House you’ll also find Niagara’s hottest bar and lounge. Treat yourself at this high-end lounge with your own private booth surrounding the bar and dance floor and a personal host to cater to your every need.
Situated on scenic Lakeshore Road, OLiV Tasting Room & Restaurant at Strewn Winery offers a wonderful range of tapas, entrees & house-made desserts, paired perfectly with Strewn wines. Our Chefs combine the rich flavours of OLiV’s Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) and True Balsamic Vinegar with fresh foods to create a tantalizing culinary experience unlike any other! Let our flavour specialists guide you through a tasting of our EVOO’s and Balsamic’s. Our products will tantalize your taste buds and inspire you to get creative in the kitchen, in a fun and simple way. Learn about the origins of each product and how to use these products everyday to enhance your healthy lifestyle.
RUTH’S CHRIS STEAK HOUSE
ROBERT WEBSTER OLIV CORPOR ATE CHEF
6700 Fallsview Blvd, Niagara Falls, ON 905.374.5170 | fallsviewrestaurant.com
BUCHANANS STEAK & SEAFOOD
6039 Fallsview Blvd, Niagara Falls, ON 905.353.4111 | niagarafallsdoubletree.com
6455 Fallsview Blvd, Niagara Falls, ON 905.357.1199 | ruthschrisniagara.com
1339 Lakeshore Road, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON 905.468.1222 | olivtapasnotl.com
IN GOOD TASTE
MEDITERRANEAN QSINE L8 CLUB NIAGARA
NIAGARA LANDING WINE CELLARS
It all started when we decided to bring you something for you, a place where you can come and have an awesome time. L8 Club is a newly reinvented, rebuilt and reinvigorated multi-functional space that hosts a variety of events with a beautiful interior and a full menu you can have it all.
Pepper Palace is an adventure for your palate. We sell over 1500 products for you to enjoy. You’ll find a great selection of Hot Sauce, BBQ Sauce, Salsa, Seasonings, Rubs and so much more.... Heat levels from Mild to Wild. Let our Saucesome Staff guide you through our free sample bar. Over 50 samples to try. You’ll explore sauces that can only be found at Pepper Palace. Our small batch sauces are crafted in the Heart of the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. Bring home sauces and memories of Pepper Palace. Also located in the Outlet Collection Niagara, 300 Taylor Rd., Niagara-on-the-Lake.
Peter Smith, a third-generation owner, oversees winery and vineyard operations today, in vineyards dating back to the late 1800’s. Niagara Landing Wine Cellars was the first winery to open in Niagara County, NY in over a decade and the first winery on the Niagara Wine Trail. We currently produce 31 varietals ranging from very dry to very sweet, as well as a unique Hot Pepper wine. Our wine can be sampled in our tasting room on Van Dusen Road, as well as many area liquor stores and wine tasting events throughout New York State. We invite you to stop in and sample our award-winning wines.
The Kasbah Mediterranean Qsine features the incredible cuisine of Vaughan Bulganian who was born in Armenia and grew up in a monastery in Jerusalem where he learned the true art of cooking Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food.
Our space is classy and beautiful enough to host your wedding reception and rock & roll enough to host some of the region’s hottest bands! This is what we mean by multi-functional!
L8 CLUB NIAGAR A
13030 Lundy’s Lane, Niagara Falls, ON 1.289.477.1358 | l8clubniagara.com
6380 Fallsview Blvd., Niagara Falls, ON 905.358.8338 | pepperpalace.ca
WINEMAKER DOMENIC CARISETTI
4434 Van Dusen Rd., Lockport, NY 716.433.8405 | niagaralanding.com
The Kasbah features homemade farm to table Mediterranean delights from Greece, Lebanon, Armenia & more. All menus include vegan, vegetarian and gluten free options. The Kasbah is fully licensed with a total of 230 seats (patio, party room, dining, bar & lounge) Come join us for an incredible evening with amazing food, service, wine and Mediterranean music.
6130 Dunn Street, Niagara Falls, ON 905.357.1000 | thekasbah.ca
ON THE TABLE//THE CHASE
THE THRILL OF THE CHASE INSIDE ONE OF TORONTO’S HOT TEST RESERVATIONS BY GABRIELLE TIEMAN-LEE PHOTOS BY STEVEN LEE
tately overlooking Toronto, the fifth floor elevator doors open to a sweeping view of the city’s Financial District. You have arrived at the Chase; one of Toronto’s richest dining experiences and a culinary must if you love phenomenal food and a casual yet elegant dining experience next to none. The Chase has quickly become known as one Toronto’s hottest reservations. This modern luxury restaurant operated by the Chase Hospitality Group offers both small plates with big flavour as well as well-balanced entrées which utilize only the finest ingredients from around the world – coupled with simple and uncomplicated flavours which are simultaneously satisfying and unique. Beef tartare with porcini mushroom, mustard smoked aioli and pickled shallot house focaccia; Fogo island cod with chanterelle corn; Asian inspired duck with sesame gai lan and pepper scallion pancakes; lamb adorned with medjool dates and jeweled rice tamarind; pan roasted seafood medley of lobster, scallops, oyster clams, mussels, shrimp and sea urchin butter and a dessert menu that could make a grown man cry. The space features an expansive, award winning patio as well as an upscale dining area which is balanced by an open kitchen – allowing restaurant goers to enjoy the preparation show while enjoying what the show has prepared. And though the Chase resides within the dignified heritage structure of the Dineen Building, the Chase’s atmosphere is anything but traditional; managing to craft the perfect balance between high-class and comfortable, the restaurant is adorned by a crisp palette, unfussy furniture and modern, minimalist decorative details that complement the naturally lit dining room. At the street-level, the Chase’s Maritime inspired Fish & Oyster can be found in the same building; this comfortable, social dining focused restaurant features a seafood driven menu and a more rustic, nautical vibe with oversized leather chairs, rustic wood tables and exposed brick – supplying a very different, yet complementing, dining experience. Leading the Chase kitchens is renowned Canadian chef Tyler Shedden. A British Columbia native, Shedden’s extensive culinary education includes time spent working amongst
world famous chefs in a few of North America’s most lavish kitchens. Shedden has worked as the executive sous chef at Gordon Ramsay’s The London in New York City, as a sous chef at Chef Daniel Boulud’s New York restaurant DANIEL and was later hand selected by Boulud himself to work as the executive chef at Café Boulud in the Four Seasons Hotel Toronto. These are only a selection of the prominent kitchens included in his diverse background before he joined with Chase Hospitality Group in order to help developed the brand’s culinary growth. The restaurant continues to gather countless accolades in its youthful state – including being awarded as One of Canada’s Best New Restaurants in 2014 by Air Canada enRoute, a number 50 ranking on Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants list of 2015, Best New Restaurants in 2013 by the Globe and Mail and ranked as one of the 100 Best Outdoor Dining Restaurants in Canada for 2017 by Open Table. I spoke with Chase Hospitality Group’s president Steven Salm (SS) and Culinary Director Chef Tyler Shedden (TS) about the concept behind the Chase as well as Fish and Oyster and how they created a masterpiece within Toronto’s saturated foodie market. What is the concept behind The Chase? SS: The Chase is meant to be as comfortable as your home, with the amenities and service you’d expect at a luxury restaurant. The design was inspired by New York penthouses and features floor to ceiling windows, marble floors and crystal chandeliers. What is the concept behind having two separate restaurants in the same building - why not amalgamate?
SS: The two experiences, The Chase and The Chase Fish and Oyster, speak to their environments. The main level of the Dineen building (where the Chase Fish and Oyster is located) has rustic and casual elements that work so well with the Oyster Bar experience. The 5th floor of the building (The Chase) was built in 2013, and has a cosmopolitan feel because it’s nestled among skyscrapers. We wanted to emphasize both spaces with complementary restaurants. How do the two restaurants flow together and balance each other? How do they offer different dining experiences? SS: The Chase Fish and Oyster’s menu focuses on local
seafood and traditional oyster presentations. The raw bar is fun and interactive and the service is more casual. When guests dine at The Chase, they’ll notice that the service is refined and polished and the menu is contemporary American cuisine. The restaurants are unique and many of our guests frequent both! So do they cater to different crowds? SS:Both restaurants cater to Toronto’s downtown business crowd as well as many out-of-town guests who are marking a special occasion. Who designed the space? SS: Audax Architecture designed the restaurant [Toronto’s premier architecture and interior design firm with expertise in the luxury real estate market; providing their clients with a holistic approach to design, which incorporates both architecture and interiors. Clients include commercial and residential developers, celebrity chefs, restaurant and hospitality groups, and affluent homeowners.] What makes [THE CHASE and The Chase Fish and Oyster] unique in Toronto’s vast dining scene? SS: We are focused on sourcing local and sustainable products whenever possible. The Chase and The Chase Fish and Oyster use OceanWise seafood and responsibly farmed produce. Our menus provide offerings for all guests regardless of their dietary preferences. Have you crafted separate menus for each restaurant? Will the team currently in place focus more on one restaurant over the other? TS: We have completely separate menus for the restaurants, they are two independent experiences. What style of cooking do you gravitate towards? How did it help form the menu? TS: I love cooking with local and sustainable products. All of our restaurants have their own identity but the philosophy of using the best ingredients and constant innovation is present across the board. Will the menu evolve and feature seasonal items? TS: The Chase menu changes each month and The Chase Fish and Oyster changes four times a year. We aim to use seasonal ingredients whenever possible and to deliver new options for our guests frequently. TM
The only thing we enjoy more than our view is sharing it with our friends.
Private Tasting Rooms on 96 Acres
Daily Underground Cellar Tours
Niagara’s Highest Winery Vantage point just 15 minutes from Niagara Falls
Special Event Inquiries | firstname.lastname@example.org 3930 Cherry Ave. | Vineland, ON | L0R 2C0 | 905.562.5155 | megalomaniacwine.com Hours of Operation: Daily 11 am to 6 pm | 43˚ 08’ N 79˚ 24’ W
Young’s Catering Catering For All Events TAKE OUT OR ORDER ONLINE
150 YEARS IN THE MAKING CALL US TO SET UP A FREE CONSULTATION FOR ALL YOUR CATERING NEEDS
Five generations of fostering this land is proudly displayed in our farm restaurant and award winning wines from our organic vineyard. Experience Ravine. 1366 York Rd, St. Davids VISIT US RAVINEVINEYARD.COM
Food cooked fresh, on-site, in our mobile kitchen Bridal showers, weddings, private functions from 20 – 500 people In-home catering for your private event Includes rentals, service, setup and cleanup
905-394-2462 www.youngscatering.net 11256 Golf Course Road, Port Colborne ON
BREWERY OPENING 2017
THE TWENTY VALLEY WINE REGION Our regional (VQA) appellations, Niagara Escarpment and Niagara Peninsula, and our sub appellations, Beamsville Bench, Short Hills Bench, Twenty Mile Bench, Lincoln Lakeshore and Creek Shores, produce Ontario wines recognized and celebrated across Canada and the world. Our tastes are born from our location: The mighty Niagara Escarpment at our back, magnificent Lake Ontario at our front and in between, soil churned and made complex by grinding glaciers eons ago. Once you add in a little magic called the Lake Effect (constantly circulating breezes between the Lake and the Escarpment that moderate temperatures), you get the unique combination of earth and climate that make Niagara’s Twenty Valley an extraordinary place to grow fruit and craft wines, luring artisans dedicated to creating their own vision of perfection in a glass.
Bench Brewing Company 3391 King Street | Beamsville | benchbrewing.com
At Bench Brewing, we believe great things come from great places, which is why we’re proud to call Beamsville, Ontario home. We embrace the local winemaking traditions and are inspired by the Belgian farmhouse-style of brewing. Opening in 2017, the former Maple Grove Schoolhouse, our site will feature a 3-acre hop field, wild fermentation program, tap room and beer garden. For more information, visit benchbrewing.com.
Creekside Estate Winery 2170 Fourth Ave. | Jordan | creeksidewine.com
Awarded Ontario’s Best Red Wine in 2016. Creekside Estate Winery has been making premium wines in Jordan for 20 years. Our winemaking team defies convention and our chef relishes in preparing honest and rustic local cuisine. At Creekside we’ve uncorked the perfect way to shop, dine, taste and tour all Niagara has to offer. Open daily 10am to 6pm.
De La Terre Café & Bakery
Grand Oak Culinary Market
13th Street Winery
3839 Main Street | Jordan Station, ON | 905 - 562 - 4567
4600 Victoria Ave. | Vineland Station | grandoakculinary.ca
1776 4th Ave. | St. Catharines | 13thstreetwinery.com
Nestled in the heart of Jordan Village, de la terre café+bakery offers a wide selection of pastries and sourdough bread. Many of our pastries are made from organic spelt flour grown on our family farm, and our lunch menu features organic produce from Niagara farms as often as the season allows. Come find us: 3839 Main Street, Jordan Ontario.
You’ll enjoy visiting, and experiencing the easy access from the QEW, the fresh-baked wares, and Locally sourced produce! With its elegant Post and Beam design, the Grand Oak Culinary Market has become a favourite with locals and visitors alike, a relaxing place to enjoy lunch, coffee or a snack. The Cheese Bar and Salad Bar have fantastic selections, perfect for light lunches or a spur-of-the-moment picnic. It’s all Good! Open 9 AM – 6 PM. Closed Sundays. 289.567.0487.
Visit our new Tasting Room & Wine Bar and enjoy our exceptional wines that reflect the unique terroir of Niagara. Relax on our verandah with a glass of wine. Explore our magnificent grounds and discover our vineyards, gardens and permanent sculptures. Pick up some delicious baked goods, house-made jams and jellies, gourmet cheese and unique gifts at our onsite Bakery.
Flat Rock Cellars
Hernder Estate Wines
Calamus Estate Winery
2727 Seventh Ave. | Jordan Station, ON | www.flatrockcellars.com
1607 Eighth Ave. Louth | St. Catharines | hernder.com
3100 Glen Rd. | Jordan (Lincoln) | calamuswines.com
Our winery sits atop the escarpment with an incredible 360° view of our beautiful vineyards and Lake Ontario so we love to show it off. Let us introduce you to our state-of-the-art 5 level gravity-flow winemaking facility where we will reveal the secret to our consistently exceptional wines. 10am-6pm daily. Open until 7pm on Saturdays. 905-562- 8994.
From rolling vineyard to wine press, barrel cellar to bottling line, a tour of Hernder Estate is a fascinating excursion. Open 7 days a week for complimentary tastings and weekend public tours at 1pm. Hernder’s also houses two banquet rooms available for private lunches, dinners, events and weddings. Visit www.hernder. com for more information including pricing. 905.684.3300.
Located along serene back roads near Ball’s Falls Conservation Area and the Bruce Trail are the historic Calamus Barns. Come inside and sample our award winning VQA wines. Bring a picnic, buy a glass of wine and relax on the deck by the vines. Enjoy a self-guided vineyard walk or pre-book a tour with our Calamus team. Reserve the 2nd floor loft for an intimate wedding, rehearsal dinner, post wedding breakfast, corporate or private celebrations. 905-562-9303
YOU’RE JUST A SHORT DRIVE AWAY FROM
Niagara-on-the-Lake Wine Country While you’re in town, plan a visit and experience the life of a winery. Nestled below the Niagara Escarpment, we’re a close-knit neighbourhood of wineries each with a unique personality. With over 20 distinctive locations to choose from and a series of Signature Events throughout the year, it’s a good thing we’re just around the corner!
Purchase a Signature Events Touring Pass and gain access to over 20 unforgettable wineries
Available Year Round With our Winemakers’ Selections Tasting Pass, you can taste a carefully selected, notable wine at each of our member wineries, all year long.
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Warm up this winter by enjoying the sweet and savoury side of chocolate as it’s expertly paired with only our best VQA wines.
Grape meets grill just in time for summer. Soak up the sun and enjoy a sampling of unique grilled foods and VQA wine pairings.
Let’s make a toast to the festive season. Holidayinspired foods are paired perfectly with locally inspired VQA wines.
Have a taste of all that we have to offer with over 20 unique wineries to choose from
CONCESSION RD 3
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Niagara College Teaching Winery & Brewery
Ravine Château des Charmes
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Coyote’s Run Estate Winery
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From QEW Toronto, exit 38B, turn right onto Glendale Avenue North (89)
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Niagara District Airport
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Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake
The Lakeview Wine Co./ Diamond Estates Winery
The Hare Wine Co.
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Wayne Gretzky Estates Winery & Distillery
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Small Talk Vineyards
T Jackson-Triggs Two Sisters Stratus Vineyards Peller Estates EAST WEST LINE
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Ontario Power Generation Reservoir
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Konzelmann Estate Winery
1366 York Rd. | St. Davids | ravinevineyard.com
1096 Lakeshore Rd. | Niagara-on-the-Lake | konzelmann.ca
Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery is a timeless destination that is steeped in family legacy and agricultural heritage. Through the generations of the Lowrey-Harber family, who have proudly farmed this land since 1867, Ravine offers our guests ever-evolving experiences, providing a fabric of tastes, scenes and sounds across our 34 acres of beautiful rolling vineyard in the historic village of St. Davids, Ontario.
Visit Konzelmann Estate Winery and discover why they are heralded for providing one of the most friendly, informative and educational experiences in Niagara’s wine country. Family owned and operated since 1893, the lakefront winery is located on the pristine south shores of Lake Ontario and known for producing high quality award-winning VQA crafted wines.
“The discovery of a wine is of greater moment than the discovery of a constellation. The universe is too full of stars.” Two Sisters Vineyards
The Lakeview Wine Co.
240 John St. | Niagara on the Lake | twosistersvineyards.com
1067 Niagara Stone Rd. | Niagara on the Lake | lakeviewwineco.com
Two Sisters Vineyards remains dedicated to passionately crafting premium world-class Ontario wines. Our winery was designed to both enhance the everyday and intensify the extraordinary. Infused with the beauty and charm of Niagara wine country and the elegance of our estate, we promise an unforgettable experience when enjoying our wines in our Tasting Boutique and dining in our restaurant, Kitchen76.
The combination of the “unique” cellar floor experience, stateof-the-art winemaking facility; plus a brand new retail and tasting centre, make this a must visit destination in Niagara. Under the watchful eyes of award-winning winemakers Scott McGregor, Jessica Wallace and Tom Green this “oneof-a-kind” winery produces some of the most popular VQA wines in Ontario, including EastDell; 20 Bees; FRESH & Lakeview Cellars wines. Open 11am-5:30pm.
- Benjamin Franklin circa 1700s
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//LIFESTYLE & CULTURE
THE SCIENCE OFJET LAG (AND HOW TO CURE IT!) BY MARIANA BOCKAROVA
Generally, the more time zones one crosses, the worse the symptoms get and the longer they persist, with the general guideline being that the number of time zones crossed is the number of days it will take to fully recover.
A few years ago, I found myself on a plane to Rome as I embarked on my first solo trip overseas. I thought I had come prepared light luggage for backpacking across three countries, a refillable water bottle to keep me cool in the Mediterranean heat, even a phone charger compatible with the European electrical system. What I forgot to plan for, of course, was the heavy feeling of jet lag and just how long it would last. After an eight and a half hour flight that left Toronto at 7PM, I arrived in glorious Italy with three hours of sleep. Unsurprisingly, I could not appreciate just how beautiful a city Rome was because my body was still operating on Toronto time: For me, it was 3AM. What I needed was darkness and sleep. Instead, I got blinding 10AM CET Italian sunshine, the deafeningly loud sound of Fiat horns blaring in the street, and the nauseating smell of espresso, cappuccino, bologna, cornetto, and the list goes on and on: It was sensory overload for my ‘middle of the night’, sleep-deprived brain. Feeling tired, cranky, and, frankly, disoriented, I was experiencing jet lag at its finest. Jet lag, or “circadian rhythmdesynchronosis”, as it is known in the medical literature, is the experience of a constellation of symptoms resulting from high speed travel across time zones. Generally, the more time zones one crosses, the worse the
symptoms get and the longer they persist, with the general guideline being that the number of time zones crossed is the number of days it will take to fully recover. Short term symptoms include daytime fatigue, impaired alertness, insomnia, appetite changes, gastrointestinal issues, poor psychomotor coordination, reduced cognitive skills, and depressed mood, whereas long term effects for frequent flyers crossing over multiple time zones, such as flight attendants, face an increased risk of cancer, amongst other maladies. For the six time zones crossed to get to Rome from Toronto, that meant six days until I fully felt like myself again. Jet lag stems from the sudden disruption of a process known as ‘circadian rhythms’; the physical, mental and behavioral patterns we cycle through each and every day based on the patterns of lightness and darkness in our environment. Circadian rhythms, interestingly enough, are not only inbuilt in humans (for which the time-frame per cycle is approximately every 24 hours), but are also found in many living things, including animals and even plants, and affect us down to our very molecules. According to the United States’ National Institute of General Medical Sciences, these rhythms influence our sleep-wake cycles, hormone release, appetite, and body temperature, among other bodily functions, and have been found to be related to obesity, diabetes, depression, bipolar disorder and seasonal affective disorder, when abnormal. Because the human circadian rhythm is slightly longer than 24 hours (24 hours and 11 minutes, give or take 16 minutes), jet lag takes a larger toll on us flying east than flying west, because an already long day, from a rhythmic perspective, becomes even longer. What drives our circadian rhythm is groupings of molecules in cells throughout the body, known as ‘biological clocks’, that are regulated by a ‘master clock’ in our brain. This ‘master clock’, or the suprachiasmatic nucleas (SCN), as it is scientifically known, is located just above the optic nerve in the hypothalamus and consists of approximately 20, 000 densely packed nerve cells. As our SCN is closely tied to our vision, it interprets light through specialized cells in the retina of our eyes; when we see bright light, such as morning sunlight, our SCN outputs our physiological response, like waking up, for instance, as well as our behavior, such as feeling ready to eat breakfast. When the sunlight fades, our response changes to ready us for sleep by our SCN signaling the pineal gland to start producing melatonin, the chief hormone in charge of making us feel sleepy. These changes to light are particularly sensitive when functioning normally, yet are also quite resistant to change. The explanation of light reactivity, however, isn’t as simple as it seems; if it were, we would simply re-adjust to whatever time zone we happened to find ourselves in without any underlying symptoms. A clearer picture lies in our genes: As discovered by the Salk Institute for Biological, there is a single gene responsible for jet lag known as LHX1. After identifying 213 genes expressed within the SCN, researchers found that one gene was fully responsible for regulating the light-dark genes, including one that creates vasoactive intestinal peptide or “Vip”, an essential compound which directly effects cell to cell communication. When experiencing jet lag, because the nerve cells are so tightly packed in the SCN, not all of them communicate the change in light immediately, but rather, gradually, causing long lasting symptoms. In studies done on mice with induced eight hour jet lag, researchers found that mice with little LHX1 adjusted much faster to their new environments, partly because their neurons were so out of sync to begin with. Interestingly, by giving them artificial Vip, synchronicity in their cells was restored. In another study done on mice, deleting LHX1 from cells in the SCN altogether found remarkable results: Regardless of being in constant light or constant darkness, the mice with the deleted gene still slept the same amount as other mice (12 hours cumulatively, which is considered standard for mice), however they slept with no pattern whatsoever, whereas they would previously have only slept, unlike humans, during light-heavy times, and their body temperatures, which normally increase by a degree in the afternoon, similarly to humans, fluctuated with no fixed time pattern. Curiously enough, when researchers induced a fever into the LHX1 impaired mice, their synchronicity returned.
Thus, the researchers suggest that finding a way to lower the traces of the Vip compound or briefly blocking LHX1 in humans and deregulating synchronicity prior to traveling could hypothetically help alleviate symptoms, particularly if renewing synchronicity is as simple as inducing a temperature or exposing heat. These scientific findings are nevertheless still new, and the potential effects of deregulating synchronicity by disrupting the production of Vip in human beings is yet to be determined. Elsewhere, at Oxford University, a team of researchers discovered a protein known as SIK1 which deactivates photosensitive cells (cells specialized to detect light) also affect light intake and could potentially be another way of curing jet lag: “We reduced levels by 50-60%, which is big enough to get a very, very big effect. What we saw was the mice would actually advance their clock six hours within a day... We’ve know there’s been a brake on the clock for some time, but we had absolutely no idea what it is, this provides a molecular basis for jet lag and as a result new targets for potentially developing new drugs.” Until altering our genes or disrupting proteins in our brain becomes a reality, scientists have already identified safe and effective ways to lessen the desynchronization of our circadian rhythms. As it turns out, it’s actually pretty simple: According to researchers Charmane I. Eastman and Helen J. Burgess, “the most effective treatments for jet lag rely on shifting the circadian clock to the new time zone as fast as possible.” The only current way of doing this successfully, the researchers note, is to strategically expose yourself to bright lights at planned times prior to travelling to lessen the impact of the new time zone. For example, when travelling east, it is important to advance your sleep schedule (or, get to bed earlier), so that the new time zone you’ll find yourself in does not come as a shock. This means gradually setting back your sleep schedule and exposing yourself to bright light (approximately 5000 lux) for the first 3.5 hours after waking. This bright light can be found in the form of light boxes, generally sold for the purposes of Seasonal Affective Disorder. So, if your travels take you eastbound, depending on the time zones crossed (approximately 5-6 for Europe), spend a few days prior to travelling, try to get to bed earlier, increasing bedtime earlier in hour-long increments each day, and exposing yourself to bright light upon waking. The same is true - in reverse - if travelling westbound; get to bed gradually later and later. Along with resetting your sleep schedule, the researchers suggest taking overthe-counter melatonin supplements, which has found to be helpful in shifting the circadian rhythm, despite it not being FDA approved as a treatment for jet lag. The researchers recommend taking melatonin post-flight and approximately 30 minutes before bed, but only in flights which cross less than 7-8 times zones. For any longer distances, it should be taken 2-3 days before travels. They also suggest taking a 3 mg dose 7.5 hours before sleep, or a 0.5 mg dose 4.5 hours before. According to the Mayo clinic, however, “doses as small as 0.5 milligram seem just as effective as doses of 5 milligrams or higher, although higher doses have been shown by some studies to be more sleep promoting.” In any case, consult with your medical doctor first before purchasing or trying melatonin, to avoid potential side effects. So, as Eastman and Burgess estimate, in a scenario where a woman is traveling eastbound from Chicago to Paris - a roughly nine hour flight crossing seven time zones - “four days before the flight, she [should] takes 0.5 mg of melatonin 4.5 hours before her usual sleep onset. That night she goes to bed 1 hour earlier than usual, and wakes up 1 hour earlier than usual. She gets intermittent bright light in the morning, preferably by going outside. The whole schedule is advanced by 1 h/day, [meaning she goes to bed earlier and earlier each day before her trip]. After landing in Paris, all the bright outdoor light she receives will help advance her circadian clock…and her sleep schedule [will] remain aligned throughout, and she should have little or no jet lag.” Anything else lauded as a potential cure to jet lag, apparently, is simply a fad. The true secret to beating jet lag: Planning and prevention. Happy Travels! TM
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Renos & real estate values
What you need to know to make upgrades pay off, what to DIY and when to call in the experts. This past Father’s Day weekend, my dad and I experienced a pretty awesome father/son bonding time building a deck at my new house. I can’t be the only one who has dad on speed dial for home renos, right? In the current Niagara housing market our fathers, general contractors and other home renovation experts are hot commodities right now. And unless you’ve been living under a rock in New Mexico, you know that Niagara’s real estate market is better than, well, a rock in New Mexico. Houses are selling at a fast and furious pace, and prices are on the rise. So, for those of us lucky enough to own a home – and have a dad skilled in the ways of home renovation – we are faced with two primary options: 1. Renovate to further our own enjoyment of living in this home, hopefully increasing its value when the time comes to sell down the road; 2. Renovate to increase the resale value now, and use a greater potential profit to buy a new home. In speaking with Ben Ellens, an appraiser with Ronald C. Ellens Appraisals Inc. and a young dad who learned his trade from his father, I learned some interesting tips on renovating for a quick market value uptick:
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, or facelifts can increase face value
One person’s open-concept living space dream may be another’s, “Oh, my dear! I can see the mess from every angle” nightmare. So, before you go all HGTV renegade, and tear down walls, check with a trusted realtor on values for comparably renovated homes in your neighbourhood. Ripping out walls may seem like fun at first glance, but make sure you’ll get the most bang for your buck out of the effort. Most times, it’s best to go with a simpler cost-effective reno like painting to enhance market value. Remember – flamingo pink may remind you of the islands, but it can make potential purchasers’ eyes bleed – so consider opting for more popular neutral colours and tones. The most common home renos are kitchens, bathrooms, landscaping/decks, pools, and cosmetic touches such as painting. But which ones are right for you to achieve the desired benefit: increasing the market value of your home now? Ben notes the renos that cost you the least but make a big visual impact by appealing to a wide homebuyer audience, are the safest bet. Large kitchen updates may seem like a great idea, but if a change of lighting fixtures, flooring, a fresh coat of paint, and new cabinet hardware will make the desired impression, go with “less is probably best”. Most homebuyers will want to tweak the purchase with their own additional renos anyway.
‘You and dad may be handy with 2x4’s and a bucket of nails, but you need to know when to call in the professionals...’
You and dad may be handy with 2x4’s and a bucket of nails, but you need to know when to call in the professionals – trades such as plumbers and electricians. Light switches that have non-functional dimmers tend to scare off buyers, wondering about other possible DIY efforts. In the current marketplace, homebuyers are looking for quality touches that fit their eye, and they are always getting better at spotting the right stuff. So, spend what you need to within your budget, and take the time to do it well, ensuring local building codes are respected – this approach will always yield a higher return on your home reno investment. Most of all, don’t “over-personalize” your renovation. The Appraisal Institute of Canada suggests these are the home upgrades that generate the highest and lowest returns for the dollars you spend: HIGHEST RETURN Bathroom Renovations 75-100% Kitchen Renovations 75-100% Interior Painting 50-100% Exterior Painting 50-100% Windows/Doors 50-100%
LOWEST RETURN Landscaping 25-50% Interlocking 25-50% Fencing/Paving 20-50% Swimming Pool 10-40% Skylights 0-25%
Note that the longer the period of time you wait to sell following renovations, the lower your return on those expenditures will likely be. If you plan to sell quickly, choose the most cost-effective improvements with the widest homebuyer appeal.
One more for the road
Ben Ellens tells us that one other important reno to consider is an income suite. More than a few television series have been crafted around this topic because it can provide an excellent opportunity for first-time homebuyers and those “moving up” to meet their mortgage payments. Income suites can be incorporated into a larger renovation where a separate entrance is available and local bylaws are followed. Renting is not for everyone, but it is an often overlooked option when considering the most effective upgrades for practical market appeal. Rental income can also provide funds for additional upgrades at a later date, building equity as you complete them. With today’s high new home and “move-up” market prices, effective renovating can be the answer to meet your current lifestyle wishes. An experienced financial advisor can help you determine if a loan for larger renovations is feasible, and most important, properly structured for your situation. Your advisor can provide some other valuable advice, including reminding you to ensure you have some cold beverages on hand to share with dad or those supportive friends helping you. TM
is a Financial Services Specialist at PenFinancial Credit Union
A LOOK BAC K
C L I F TO N H I L L CA MPGROUNDS, SCHOOL BOOKS A ND STEA M ENGINES
by Sherman Zav i t z It’s popularly known as Niagara Falls’ “Street of Fun.” Its actual name is Clifton Hill and this is its story. Capt. Ogden Creighton, a half-pay officer in the British Army, had a vision. Arriving at Niagara Falls in 1832, he was struck with the magnificence of the cataracts. Deciding that it would be a popular (not to mention profitable) idea to establish a town site directly facing the falls, he purchased a large tract of land in the area and laid out building lots and streets. He named his infant community Clifton after Clifton on the Gorge of the River Avon at Bristol, England, very possibly the area where Creighton had spent his childhood. As the first resident, he built his own home, Clifton Cottage, near the edge of the gorge overlooking the American Falls. Although the Captain seems to have been very enthusiastic about his real estate project, he was not a very good promoter. Consequently, in spite of the beautiful location, very few lots were sold. >>
V i ew f ro m N i a g a r a Fa l l s To u r i s t C a m p, N i a g a r a Fa l l s C a n a d a . J u s t u p t h e h i l l f ro m C l i f to n H o te l . I m a g e f ro m t h e p r i v a te co l l e c t i o n o f N i a g a r a h i s to r i a n S h e r m a n Z av i t z.
With the gradual discontinuance of ferry service after 1848, the name was no longer as accurate. So it was, that, over time, the name Clifton Hill was adopted to refer to that portion of the former Ferry Road between what is now River Road and Victoria Avenue. (Another section of the old Ferry Road, now called Ferry St., still exists between Victoria Ave. and Main Street.) A school on Clifton Hill?? While such a building would certainly be out of place there today, in fact, around 1835, a one-room, roughcast schoolhouse was built on the south side of the hill. The school served the area along the Niagara River from Dufferin Islands (as they are now called) just above the falls to the whirlpool. That included, of course, the tiny community of Clifton. One of the early teachers at this school was a Mr. McMullen who also had a side job. The owner of a handsome carriage, every time an excursion party arrived at the nearby falls, he would rush out of the school and become a tour guide, leaving his niece to take over his teaching duties.
In a more positive side, however, in 1833, what became Niagara Fallsâ€™ biggest, grandest and most famous 19th century hotel opened for business. Since the hotel was in the community of Clifton, it took the name Clifton House.
It was brilliantly located at the foot of what is now known as Clifton Hill, on the present site of Oakes Garden Theatre. The location gave the hotelâ€™s guests beautiful views of the falls - and easy access to the Ferry Road. For many years that road was of extreme importance. Prior to the opening of the first bridge across the Niagara River Gorge in 1848, American visitors reached the Canadian side of the Niagara River at Niagara Falls by ferry boat, crossing just below the falls. With great difficulty considerable expense, in 1827 a road was constructed from the ferry landing to the top of the gorge and then on up to the top of the high bank where Victoria Ave. is now. Appropriately, this new thoroughfare was christened the Ferry Road since it led to and from the ferry landing.
The last teacher at this school was Marsena Biggar who served from 1851 until the last bell sounded two years later. During the autumn of 1851, Marsena might have taken his pupils down the hill to the Clifton House to hear the famous singer Jenny Lind. Known as the Swedish Nightingale, she was a guest at the hotel for a number of weeks that fall and would occasionally present an impromptu concert from one of its balconies. Beginning the year after the little school closed, a new sound was heard on Clifton Hill. It was the puff, puff, puff of steam engines along with the lonely wail of their whistles. The railway had arrived. The tracks, which ran along the top of the hill where a small station was also situated, belonged to the Erie and Ontario, a local line that served a number of communities along the Ontario side of the Niagara River. As time went by, the Erie and Ontario became part of the vast New York Central Railroad system. Following the opening of Queen Victoria Park (the park by the falls) in 1888, the little station at the top of the hill was enlarged and renamed Victoria Park. Over the years, an enormous number of individuals, families and excursion groups began their Niagara Falls experience at the Victoria Park Station. Lastly owned by Canadian Pacific, this line, which had become a frequent and huge impediment to the flow of traffic on Clifton Hill, was closed and the tracks torn up in 2001. >>
C a m p g ro u n d s o n C l i f to n H i l l f ro m t h e 1 93 0 s . I m a g e f ro m t h e p r i v a te co l l e c t i o n o f N i a g a r a h i s to r i a n S h e r m a n Z av i t z.
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By the 1950s motels also began to appear on Clifton Hill, largely replacing the campgrounds. But an event of more far-reaching importance in the hill’s history took place in 1959 with the debut of Louis Tussaud’s Wax Museum. Housed in a section of the Foxhead Hotel, the immediate and enormous success of this business showed that many visitors to Niagara Falls were eager for entertainment attractions beyond what were available around the falls. Consequently, as Clifton Hill moved through the 1960’s, more and more family “fun” businesses as well as restaurants appeared in the block between Falls Ave. and Victoria Ave. However, Clifton Hill also has two other different personalities that need to be noted. Both are on that portion of the Hill between Falls Avenue and River Road. On the south side is the impressive Niagara Falls War Memorial (Soldier’s Monument). Dedicated in 1927, it records the names of those from Niagara Falls who fell in the Great War – World War!. Following World War II and the Korean War, additional names had to be added. It is a spot for quiet reflection.
THE 1920’S SAW THE FOXHEAD HOTEL OPEN ON THE NORTHWEST CORNER OF THE FALLS AVENUE AND CLIFTON HILL. OWNED BY HOWARD FOX, THE HOTEL WAS BUILT IN TH ENGLISH TUDOR STYLE OF ARCHITECTURE.
Although the railroad continued to play an important role in tourism during the early decades of the twentieth century, by the 1920s more and more people began arriving in Niagara Falls by car. This development saw Clifton Hill become the home of various campgrounds where you could park your car, pitch a tent and walk to the falls.
Facilities were primitive by today’s standards, with outdoor plumbing the rule. One campground owner offered the luxury of inside plumbing by driving his guests to the public washrooms in nearby Queen Victoria Park. Tenting soon gave way to campgrounds with cabins where kitchen facilities were usually available as well as a building housing toilets and showers.
Directly across the street from the War Memorial is a grand and glorious sight – Oakes Garden Theatre. A stunning blend of horticultural and architectural skills, Oakes Garden Theatre is on property once occupied by the Clifton House and, later, the Clifton Hotel, which was destroyed by fire in 1932. The site was then purchased by local businessman and philanthropist Harry Oakes who donated the property to The Niagara Parks Commission. It was the Commission that created the beautiful Garden Theatre. It opened in September 1937. Clifton Hill has a long and varied past – a past that has played an important role in the history of Niagara Falls. TM
And hotels were still on Clifton Hill. Destroyed by fire in 1898, the Clifton House had been replaced with the impressive Clifton Hotel in 1906. The late 1920s saw the Foxhead Hotel open on the northwest corner of Falls Avenue and Clifton Hill. Owned by Howard Fox, the hotel was built in the English Tudor style of architecture.
D a t i n g b a c k to t h e m i d -1 9 6 0 ’s: T h e s i g n fo r t h e Lo u i s Tu s s a u d Wa x M u s e u m m ay b e s e e n a t t h e r i g h t . T h e f i g u re o n t h e h i g h w i re ove r t h e s t re e t i s o f B l o n d i n , w h o, b a c k i n 1 8 59 a n d 1 8 6 0, w a s t h e f i r s t t i g h t ro p e w a l ke r to p e r fo r m a t N i a g a r a Fa l l s .. I m a g e co u r te s y o f Way n e Fa r r a r.
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IGNITE A BETTER YOU //COLUMN
Detoxing Body AND Mind
With commitment, dedication, and focus, we can rewire our brains. We can train our brains to challenge our recurring thought patterns, and to block new negative patterns from coming in, says Dr. Christina Plaskos. Many of us have tried a detox at one point or another. Conventional detoxing follows dietary elimination of certain foods to allow our bodies to naturally purge toxins accumulated in tissues. Like a body detox, detoxing the mind follows the same idea. If we consider mind toxins to be the negative thoughts that are unhelpful or destructive to optimal mental health, a mind detox aims to eliminate these thoughts. In practice, however, detoxing the mind is much more complex. We cannot simply say, “I will not think a negative thought for five days and Voila! Mind cleanse complete”. Our brains don’t quite operate this way, so we need a different approach. First, we must identify the source of the negative thinking and how these thoughts make a home for themselves in our mind. The way we experience ourselves, others, and the world in general is determined by our thought patterns. Thought patterns, in turn, are the result of our genetics, childhood experiences, upbringing and environment, and they are entrenched as habits by the time we are adults. When the thoughts are not supporting our optimum health and wellness, they are “toxins”. Unfortunately, unhelpful thought patterns are self-propagating because just as soon as they are triggered, they summon old feelings and memories. These emotions from our past reinforce the current negative thought, making us feel worse and perpetuating the negative thought pattern. The good news is that we are not chained to our negative thoughts, and we can break free. With commitment, dedication, and focus, we can rewire our brains. We can train our brains to challenge our recurring thought patterns, and to block new negative patterns from coming in. The first step? Awareness. Thwarting negative thoughts is more challenging in practice than abstaining from dietary toxins because our thoughts are automatic; they begin circulating and wreaking havoc before we realize they are there. Imagine trying to avoid fried food when it is already in your stomach! Therefore, the first step to detoxing the mind is to simply pay attention! We must observe our thoughts, as well as notice the situational triggers that caused them to come up. Just as a soccer goalkeeper must read the field and position himself in net to deflect incoming shots, we must notice our environment, our thoughts borne from that environment, and prepare to challenge those thoughts. And just as a goalkeeper spends countless hours perfecting their craft, awareness of our thought patterns is a skill requiring focus and practice to be mastered until it is second nature. Once we are aware, we begin to remove the thought’s power over us, and we open ourselves to our innate wisdom to analyze whether the thought is valid and whether it belongs. Often, the thought does not belong and we
“If we consider mind toxins to be the negative thoughts that are unhelpful or destructive to optimal mental health, a mind detox aims to eliminate these thoughts.”
can use this awareness to choose another thought, or to drop the unhealthy line of thinking altogether. Along with detoxing the mind, detoxing our body and healing our gut is extremely important. The gut-brain connection is a crucial element in the functioning of our brain’s neurotransmitters which are responsible for our mental health and well-being. Studies have shown that altering the gut microbe results in changes in emotional processing which include reductions in anxiety and depression. In order to detox our body and heal our gut, I recommend a 7 - 21 day detox protocol along with healthy food and probiotics. This metabolic reset helps patients increase awareness of their food habits and gives their gut a break to rejuvenate and restore itself. Longer programs can be followed as a patient progresses. I often discuss timeframes such as 120 days to change a habit, 365 days to change a lifestyle, and 1000 days for epigenetic change. For optimal health, we need to address the body and the mind. We need to make sure we are putting in the right food and supplements to heal our gut which will allow for our neurotransmitters to function properly. We also need daily brain training to ensure that our thoughts originate from a place of positivity and gratitude. A total detox will give you a sense of empowerment in your life, along with the clarity to see what is not truly serving your health and wellbeing. Investing in detoxing the body and mind is an investment in your own happiness and in the achievement of realizing your full potential. TM
Dr. Christina Plaskos,
HONORS BSC PHARM, MD, ABAARM, AEGIS MD Dr. Plaskos practices at Aegis MD. She is a certified & advanced injector.
NA Y HALL By Andrew Hind
Ontario is separated from the United States by the Niagara River that flows east between Lakes Erie and Ontario, first through the mighty Niagara Falls and on below the cliffs of the Niagara Escarpment until it empties into Lake Ontario. At this strategic location, on the Canadian side, the British built military establishments to protect Canadian sovereignty. The main base of the British forces in Upper Canada (now Ontario) is Fort George, which remains the most famous of these fortifications and is a popular tourist attraction today. In the shadow of Fort George is the remnant of a lesser known, but perhaps no less important military facility: Navy Hall.
In 1765, British naval craftsmen from Fort Niagara built naval establishments at the outlet of the Niagara River at Newark (now Niagara-on-the-Lake). The base was known as Navy Hall even though it consisted of a number of buildings and facilities, including a small shipyard, docks, warehouses and residences. Labourers cut wood here for ship construction, and established lumber yards where wood meant for ship construction could season properly and thereby prevent the decay that consumed most British vessels on the Great Lakes in as little as seven years. Navy Hall evolved into a key military supply facility for the Provincial Marine. The Provincial Marine was a colonial naval force manning small vessels mostly on Lakes Ontario, Erie and Huron whose task it was, primarily, to keep the British forts on the Great Lakes in supply. In existence since the second half of the 18th century, the Provincial Marine played a significant role in both the American Revolution (during which time the Marine wintered its vessels at Navy Hall) and most especially during the War of 1812. In 1792 Lieutenant-Governor John Graves Simcoe converted one of the buildings into his residence. That same year, on September 1, the first parliament in Upper Canada met in a tent on the grounds of Navy Hall. The next year, Simcoe decided to move the provincial capital to York (now Toronto), a location deemed to be less vulnerable to attack from the United States as Niagara-on-the-Lake was literally under American guns sited at Fort Niagara, across the river. While the first purpose-built Parliament Buildings were being constructed in York, Newark continued to serve as the seat of government until 1796. When parliament moved, Lt. Governor Simcoeâ€™s former residence served as a dining hall for the officers at nearby Fort George. It was here that the first act of the War of 1812 occurred. News of the declaration of war arrived during a dinner given by the British officers at Fort George to the American officers of Fort Niagara, with whom relations were good. After reading the news in stunned silence, all finished the dinner cordially, said goodbye with wishes of good luck, and the next day they were preparing
their cannon for war. Not long after, Navy Hall was destroyed by artillery fire from American forces at Fort Niagara. One wonders if there were any misgivings on the part of the American officers giving that order to fire on the building where they had been hosted just a short while before. In the years immediately after the war, the British rebuilt some of the buildings and they continued to serve an evolving military purpose for over a century. They became barracks for British troops in 1837-38 during the Upper Canada Rebellion led by William Lyon Mackenzie and again during the Fenian scare of the late 1860s. Later, during World War One, it served as a medical commissary for Canadian troops trained at Camp Niagara for overseas service. By the 1930s, only one of the buildings that had previously comprised Navy Hall remained, and it was rapidly falling into disrepair due to age. In an effort to preserve it, the Niagara Parks Commission moved it a short distance to its present site and had its walls encased in stone. Today, Navy Hall is managed by Parks Canada as part of Fort George, one of several national historic sites which fall under the administrative umbrella 'Niagara National Historic Sites'. It houses artifacts from more than 200 years, but sadly is rarely open to the public save for when rented for private functions. Nevertheless, people are encouraged to visit because there is indeed much to see. Wander around Navy Hallâ€™s exterior and let your mind go back to the 18th century when Lt. Governor John Graves Simcoe resided here. Read outdoor interpretive displays that trace the history of Navy Hall over the years, view the Simcoe Memorial monument, and enjoy the tranquility of its parkland setting with stunning views out onto the Niagara River and, on the distance shore, Fort Niagara in New York. Though overshadowed by the imposing walls and cannon of Fort George, Navy Hall deserves some attention as it represents 250-years of Ontario history. Navy Hall is located across the street from Fort George, at 305 Ricardo Street. TM
His legend was created in literature and over time bled onto the silver screen. The character of Dracula has haunted us for over a century; in fact this year marks the 120th anniversary of Bram Stokerâ€™s iconic novel. This summer, we find him lurking in Niagara-on-the-Lake and on stage at the Shaw Festival, running until October 14. To find out more about the making of this edgy production, I reached out to some of the key players both in front of and behind the curtain. >>
By Julie Tanos
TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 53 todaymagazine.ca 53
You have been with the Shaw Festival now 15 years, have you ever directed a play of this nature before?
No, I have never done anything like it before at the Shaw Festival or anywhere else. It is a wonderful theatrical challenge that I am really enjoying. Gothic tales are defined by the mingling of anxiety and desire and that is very true of this adaptation of the novel Dracula. I am working very closely with sound designer/composer John Gzowski to create a truly thrilling, chilling and seductive soundscape for the show.
Is the double duty as both Dracula’s Director and Shaw’s Associate Director exciting, exhausting or a marvelous mix of both?
I’m always doing double duty here at the Shaw and I love it. This is such an exciting group of artists and I am happy to be involved with them in any way I can be.
How many actors are in the cast? Any upcoming actors to keep an eye on and what Shaw veterans can we expect to see?
“Once again... welcome to my house. Come freely. Go safely; and leave something of the happiness you bring.” ― – Bram Stoker, Dracula
It is a cast of 14 and a wonderful mixture of actors who have been here and worked with me many times, as well as people fairly new to the company. I am especially excited to have the chance to work with Allan Louis who was in the incredible production of “Master Harold” … and the Boys last season. He will be playing Dracula and we are all simultaneously scared of and attracted to him!
This story has an edgy, sexy theme, was it chosen specifically with hopes of drawing in a younger audience?
As with all the shows we do at the Shaw, Dracula was chosen because it is a great story told in a wonderfully theatrical way. It is one of the most famous stories of the Victorian era and has inspired spin offs right from the moment it appeared in print. In the last few years vampires have become very trendy and so if that fact brings in a younger audience that would be a wonderful by product for sure. In the end we chose it because it is a really good play.
You have a very extensive background in professional (ballet) dance. Can we expect that you will incorporate some choreography into this production to help tell the story?
I think that my background in ballet shows up in my work whether I mean for it to or not. This piece is very episodic and I am hoping as we go from scene to scene, to create a real sense of the story pulsing and flowing - like blood. I will draw on any part of my experience that I can to create the magic and thrill that this story demands.
In the past, you have been interested in bringing a voice to the minor characters, or those often overlooked. Will the audience hear this story told from a new perspective?
Liz Lochhead, the Scottish poet who adapted the novel, has approached the story from a very interesting perspective. She hints at the idea that the thing that we are all truly afraid of is our own sexuality - and Count Dracula is the catalyst that forces us to face our fear. But she doesn’t stop there – she uses the character of Van Helsing to challenge us to forgive each other for our desires - something that I think is an incredible transformative idea.
Why would the Shaw’s production of Dracula draw people out of the shadows, like the Count himself, and into the Festival Theatre this summer?
Count Dracula himself makes the best case for coming to see our production of Dracula; when with wolves howling at the gates he says to Jonathan Harker, “Listen. Listen to the children of the night. What music they make.”
MICHAELGIANFRANCESCO SET & COSTUME DESIGNER
From conceptualization, drawing up drafts, miniature models to actual construction, how long is the entire process to build the various sets for this play?
We often start working as early as one year in advance. I start by having preliminary meetings with the director, doing research and finding inspiration, and then working on a model and drawings of our preliminary ideas. Then the show gets costed, and final designs are worked out. It happens slowly over the year, as the theatre is working on multiple productions at one time. Each show has a slot to be built in, and over the course of the year the entire season comes together. As soon as one season is done, there is a small break before planning and construction for the next season starts. It is a continuous process.
How is designing sets for the Shaw Festival unique compared to other production companies for whom you’ve worked, such as Stratford and the Canadian Opera Company?
Designing sets for both Shaw and Stratford are unique because they are repertory theatres. One theatre may have 3 or 4 productions happening at the same time, and the scenery for all of the shows has to fit into the same space. The scenery will get set up and taken down many times over the season and sometimes has to be built to come apart and go back together easily, while looking like it is one seamless piece. What is unique about the theatres at the Shaw Festival is that each one provides a vastly different experience – from the intimacy of the Courthouse and Studio theatres, to the large scale of the proscenium stage at the Festival theatre. So the scenery needs to be scaled and conceived to suit each venue. The opera is different in many ways, mostly in its size and scale. Most opera companies perform exclusively in large proscenium houses, and scenery is built to last for years as productions are put into storage, revived and rented to other companies all over the world. At The Shaw, most of our shows are seen during one season, and new work is created each year. We often re-use elements like floors, which get re-painted with new designs each season. >>
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Each theatre holds multiple productions so each set needs to be somewhat easy to erect and deconstruct. How long does it take to dis/assemble each set? When the season is in full swing, there will be a show at 2pm and at 8pm in the same theatre. Most shows are done after two to three hours, so there is about 2 hours to change over before the cast and crew arrive for the evening show.
There have been many variations of Dracula and specifically Bram Stoker’s story. From where did you draw inspiration for the set design and costumes for this production? Director Eda Holmes and I had such a fantastic time doing research and conceiving our version of this story. We looked at many of the various Dracula films, paintings and photographs from the era the novel was written in, as well as ideas based in underground society and culture of the 1980s- when this version of the play was written, including nightclub culture such as what was happening at Studio 54 in New York. So it has become a blend of the late Victorian world with influences of underground nightclub style and dress.
Sometimes, the actors have minimal time to change costumes between scenes; will there be any “crunch times” in this play? A few of the characters have quick changes in the play. We plan this out before we start building the costumes as it affects how the garments get constructed and put together. Some characters are dressing on stage and the clothes need to fasten in a specific way that is suited to the period. For example, we will see one of the female characters getting laced into a corset and putting on a dress on stage. Items that get put on off-stage, and in a quick change will be made differently so they appear to look correct to the period, but have snaps, Velcro or magnets as fasteners to help with getting in and out of the garments quickly and easily when there is little time.
Did you experience any challenges in creating any of the costumes or sets?
One of the biggest challenges will be the use of fake blood in the show. It is such an important part of the genre and the story, and we are working out many different ways for it to appear. Of course, it will be getting onto the costumes and we have to do many tests to make sure the fake blood will wash out properly after every show so that is a complicated task to figure out; to make sure everything looks fresh and new each time the show is performed.
Why would the Shaw’s production of Dracula draw people out of the shadows, like the Count himself, and into the Festival Theatre this summer?
The story of Dracula is inherently a theatrical one, and I think it is going to make for a thrilling and entertaining piece of theatre. The script we are working with is beautiful and poetic, yet bone chilling with a heightened sense of horror and gothic atmosphere.
This is your second season with the Shaw Festival; what did you learn from your first season that makes you better prepared for this upcoming one?
Last year I learned from performing “Master Harold” …and the Boys how much the audience was on my side if I allowed them to be, no matter the circumstances.
You have recurring roles on such television shows as NCIS, what do you enjoy what about theatre that you cannot find on television or film sets? The audience is so close to you in the theatre that it forces you to be present on a cellular level.
Your theatre background spans stages from Toronto to New York and beyond, what makes Shaw different? What enticed and drew you back for another season?
Canada, and its unapologetic support of the arts and the artists. I was thrilled to be invited back to the Shaw Festival by our fantastic new Artistic Director Tim Carroll. He’s awesome. What are some challenges you are faced with when headlining one show, and taking part in another (Saint Joan), simultaneously? The moment I realized the mental and physical demands of each role, I adjust my life to fit those demands.
Was it exciting to take on such an infamous character in literary history and embody his persona?
Being cast in the role makes me feel like I’m nine years old again. A time when I could be easily frightened out of my wits, and a dark room had a lot more mystery. I am honored to step into the cape.
How would you describe your character? A villain, misunderstood antagonist, hopeless romantic or in your own words…
Dracula is a benevolent angel of light. Humans have been altering themselves with whatever technology provided since the earliest days of civilization. Tools, clothing, armor, and weapons are all ways that mankind has altered itself to be better suited to its environment temporarily. Dracula is a Transhumanist, offering up the possibility of modifying the fundamental yet weakest aspects of being human. Permanently.
Bram Stoker’s Dracula is a very romantic, sensual story at times; do you think the audience will be seduced by your Dracula? I’ve worked with many directors in my career, however I think the audience will be seduced by Director Eda Holmes’ intoxicating vision of Dracula.
What feelings will you say the audience will come away with after watching this production?
It’s safe to say the audience will leave the theatre feeling a range of emotions although I think some of them will be very “private”.
Why would the Shaw’s production of Dracula draw people out of the shadows, like the Count himself, and into the Festival Theatre this summer? Come see Dracula because it’s sexy, funny and terrifying. It’s going to be a stellar season of entertainment at Shaw. TM
MONEY TALK //COLUMN
An accident while travelling could cost you a lifetime of savings
While summer is fast approaching and the plans are being laid for family vacations and travelling abroad, it’s critical that you sit down and make sure you and your family have the proper out of country medical insurance in place, says David Somerville The facts tell us that only half of Canadians who travel purchase medical insurance before heading off, potentially leaving themselves and their families financially vulnerable to high costs should they get sick or have an accident while travelling. The cost of a broken leg in the United States, for example, can cost up to $20,000 U.S., while an air ambulance from Florida to Ontario can run up to $15,000 U.S. In Ontario, OHIP pays up to $400 Canadian per day in U.S. hospital costs, depending on level of care. The plan also only reimburses outpatient visits at $50 Canadian per day. Also be aware of the fact that even within this country, Canadians may not be covered for all required medical care when travelling to another province. When looking for a comprehensive out of country plan, some things you may want to consider are: a travel plan that includes medical and emergency dental coverage, air ambulance, airfare and lodging for a family member to fly out and be by your side. Another critical point is to make sure you also understand who pays the bills. Some insurers pay the doctor or hospital directly, while others require the traveler to pay up front and then get reimbursed later. Also, be sure to leave your loved ones at home a copy of your insurer, policy number and a phone number should you be unable to connect with the insurance company directly. This will save a lot of frustration and time. Remember to always read the fine print, and make sure you disclose any medical problems to the insurer, be clear and note how many days you are covered. Most plans only insure for a specific number of days 7, 14 or 30 days per trip, so make sure you and that all activities you engage in are covered for the duration of your trip. One last point, buying out of country insurance isn’t just for those long vacations, because here in Niagara we live on a border, you have just as much risk when crossing the bridge for a dinner or a sporting event, so having a yearly plan makes the most sense. Enjoy the summer and safe travels. TM
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BODY OF WORK By Julie Tanos I Photography David Haskell
There is more to this Canadian beauty than meets the eye. She touts a strong work ethic from growing up on the family farm, intuitive business acumen, she shares an impermeable bond with her son, and is driven to seek out a greater purpose. Jana Webb is not a complicated person, but her story is certainly an interesting one. >>
ince she was 12 years old, helping on the family’s working farm, Jana was taught that in life you need to work hard for what you want. It’s all she’s known, explaining “you just work until the work is done; there is no schedule.” This was an early lesson that would come back to her in adulthood, as an entrepreneur and founder of Joga, the yoga based fitness program designed for athletes. So how does a girl who grew up on a farm in rural Alberta become a successful business mogul who trains athletes all over the world? Ambition with a twist of fate, that’s how. According to Jana, at 17 years old she created a vision board and appealed to her parents that “there’s got to be more.” Upon graduating high school, she promptly packed up and left her small town of 800 and headed for Calgary, determined to make her vision a reality. Fast track seven years later, with a background in marketing and school accreditation in film and television, Jana was bursting onto the scene hosting a Canadian travel TV show and trekking the world marketing various brands. While on a work excursion in Kelowna, B.C., a car accident side railed her current aspirations and the focus became on recovery. During this time, Webb’s singing coach introduced her to yoga and encouraged her to incorporate the breathing techniques and stretching into her other physical rehabilitation. Admittedly not a natural “yogi,” however quite competitive by nature, she didn’t give up until eventually discovering what Jana says felt like she “was at home:” Ishta Yoga. This triggered her new found passion and what she describes as “an innate ability to understand human movement.” The following years were spent teaching yoga back in Calgary, as well as working in a healthcare setting alongside chiropractors and physiotherapists; it was through this experiential learning that Jana learned more about the human body than she could have ever imagined. When a former professional football player began regular yoga sessions under Jana’s guidance, he expressed how beneficial these classes would have been, back when he was training and playing. Opportunity came knocking when she heard the CFL’s Calgary Stampeders were looking for a resident yoga coach. Backed by her client’s referral, Jana went for it –and got it. “I walked in and there were 65 massive football players, and they looked at me like ‘you’re going to do this … and we’re going to do that?’” she jokes. “The first session was a disaster, because all I knew was what I’d been taught and immediately I knew something had to shift. These bodies couldn’t sustain a regular tree posture, their hips are too tight – or a warrior posture; they don’t have the external rotation in their hip joints. So I started to manipulate the traditional yoga movements and
make them more cohesive to the athlete’s body.” Webb further explains it: “With Joga, it’s all yoga movements that emulate the bio-mechanics of sport. The important piece of yoga that we needed to maintain with the Joga philosophy is breathing, because what the athletes do need is relaxation, they need to regenerate and recover – and those are all the traditional breathing and relaxation benefits of yoga.” Two years later one of Jana’s quarterback clients with the Calgary Stampeders won MVP, and attributed much of his excellent physical fitness to his Joga training. With his encouragement, Webb decided to brand her exclusive yoga studio and market the unique method of “yoga for jocks” for which she had become known, leading to the creation of Joga. After the birth of her son, Will, Jana continued to run her Calgarybased studio and teach Joga for a living, but as any business owner knows, it takes considerable time to see a return on investment. So when a job opportunity in front of the cameras became available, she and her family moved across the country to Toronto. As the television audition proved fruitless, that didn’t stop Webb from making the most of the situation. “I went to the (Toronto) Argos’ General Manager, we had won a championship in Calgary together, so he ended up hiring me and we’ve been working together for seven years.” But her influence isn’t found solely on the gridiron, Joga has been part of the training for some of the Toronto Blue Jays players as well as the Toronto Raptors and several other NBA and NHL teams. This is where her work ethic comes into play, as Jana describes how she’s acquired all of these elite clients: “I hustle. I market myself. I go to all the conferences, fly to the cities and meet with the strength and conditioning coaches.” And it doesn’t stop with her, Joga boasts 350 certified trainers worldwide, who aside from teaching the unique style of athletic yoga, are also taught invaluable business skills when marketing Jana’s brainchild. “We actually teach our coaches how to manage business, how to present themselves, how to network and market. If they don’t know how to do that, we can give them the best product in the world, but if they don’t know how to get clients, we’re not successful and they’re not successful. We’ve really stepped up our game in supporting our coaches.” In the highly competitive industry of sport, it’s important to be widely accessible and stay at the forefront of everyone’s mind. This is where Jana’s latest endeavors are getting her and Joga into the public eye. Just one month ago, Joga House opened in Yorkville, the first one of its kind in order to test the waters of a possible fitness franchise. “We’ve already trained our Joga coaches to be business people, the next step is Joga pop ups so that we can give them all the tools to create their own business wherever they are, and possibly partner with gyms in their local area
‘Joga boasts 350 certified trainers worldwide, who aside from teaching the unique style of athletic yoga, are also taught invaluable business skills when marketing Jana’s brainchild.’
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– and the next step from there is a franchise opportunity,” Webb explains. Pop up shop, defined as a space that is opened temporarily to take advantage of a trending product or service, is perfect for determining which locales Jana’s program will be well received and is worth upgrading to another brick and mortar Joga House franchise. A frequent visitor to the Niagara region, Niagara-in-the-Lake specifically, she is enthusiastic about opening a pop up here, particularly in partnership with a local winery. When speaking about her certified Joga coaches, and the lack thereof in the Golden Horseshoe: “We need some here! We need somebody certified down here because we always get business (down here) but we can’t fulfill it right now.” Another way in which Jana is getting herself and her brand out there, is by recently starring in the premiere season of the Real Housewives of Toronto. While accepting the opportunity to use it as a platform to market her brand, she maintains her one goal was to remain as real as possible. “When I do something, I am in the zone, that’s when I am in the moment,” and being as natural as possible caused Webb to truly forget the cameras were around. While some of the other Housewives may have amped up their personas to be perceived as more fabulous, Jana kept it real, and kept her focus on bigger gains than popularity. On more than one occasion, the Joga logo would appear and her brand would be broadcast on nationwide television, some of the best advertising in which she could have ever invested. Such savvy marketing strategies are one of the reasons why Webb can relate to and admires Bethanny Frankel, most famously known for her role on the Real Housewives of New York.”Similarly, Frankel used her show as a means to promote her trademark brand of low calorie cocktails. As for other female role models in Jana’s life, she assuredly gives her mother the top spot. “My mom is the person I admire the most. I understand where I get my fight from … she’s been sick several times and fought through everything. She’s raised four kids … she’s like Superwoman.” Credit is also doled out to her father, “my dad is where I get my business sense from; he’s a very kind man and a hard worker.” On a global scale, the Joga founder admits she has respect for the “Material Girl” herself, Madonna, explaining: “She’s reinvented herself so many times and I really admire that because it’s so easy for people to ‘hit it’ in one area of their lives and then that’s what they’re known for. Whereas she’s always pivoting, always pushing the limits and always going outside of her boundaries, and I really admire that.” One trait that Webb clearly shares with the iconic blonde is unbounded ambition. When speaking about what she has her sights set on conquering next, “I’m trying to scale my business globally. I’ve got interest from Australia, South Africa, the U.K. and the U.S. market, which I’m really excited about. So if I get this first Joga House right, the goal is to roll that out across the world!” However, one of the hardest things Jana is working on now is learning how to slow down and appreciate every moment. “A personal goal for me is to learn how to find a little bit more balance. Spend more time with my family and my son … really taking the time just to enjoy life a little bit more,” says Webb. When Jana does have the rare opportunity to indulge, what does she admit is one of her guilty pleasures? “I eat red meat and I love my beer,” she states like a true Albertan. “And if I am going to splurge, it will be on the spa. Every city I go to, I want to know where the best spa is.” Today while meeting with me, Jana is wearing a hat from her very own merchandise line, flashing the juxtaposed “J’s” representing the Joga logo. On other days, she wears the proverbial hockey mom hat, when she takes Will to a hockey practice or game. Back home, you might catch her in a cowboy hat relaxing in rural Alberta. Regardless of all the sides there are to Jana Webb, her most prominent characteristics are her positivity and optimism. When asked about her future endeavors, including if offered the opportunity to do her own reality show, she replies: “I really believe that the universe presents things to you, and if the universe presents it, then it’s probably an opportunity to say yes. Life is so short.” The young girl who once exclaimed “there’s got to be more,” is still creating vision boards, now with her nine year old son, and reaching for bigger dreams. “If you work hard and do things with integrity, everything will work out.” TM During her stay in Niagara, Jana’s accommodations were provided by the Queen Regent B&B, located in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Make up done by Emmy-award winning artist and friend, Amanda Terry, also owner and proprietor of the Queen Regent.
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SAINTE-MARIE AMONG THE HURONS From the earliest date of the French Settlement at Quebec in the 17th century, the call of the wilderness was overwhelming. Samuel de Champlain, Quebec’s founder and first governor was an avid explorer and cartographer. So too were French Jesuit missionaries. Their legacy lives on in the form of the impressively reconstructed Sainte-Marie among the Huron mission near Midland. For fifty years, since its may 1967 opening, the living history museum has been transporting people four centuries into Ontario’s past, to a time when Sainte-Marie was the only European settlement in Ontario. The site is not only among the province’s most historically important locations, but also one of its most engaging. Their Jesuit’s zeal to spread the word of God to the First Nations brought them deep into the continent’s interior and bringing them into contact with the large and powerful Huron nation on the northeastern shores of Lake Huron, some 800 miles west of Quebec. In 1639, missionaries established a substantial fortified mission in the center of the Huron’s domain, which they called Sainte-Marie among the Hurons and which served as a headquarters for several other smaller missions established nearby. Sainte-Marie was a well-fortified compound, with large masonry tower-like bastions and some stone curtain walls on the north and east sides, and stockade walls edging wet moats on the south and west sides. The mission was a highly efficient village with a blacksmith, carpenter shop, granary, a barn that housed a number of hardy livestock, chapel, hospital, and bunkhouses. It was home not only to priests but also donnes (workers who served God but did not take holy vows) and a handful of soldiers. By the mid-1640s, Sainte-Marie was home to over 60 people, making it the largest European community in Canada west of Quebec and home to a fifth of French Canada’s entire population.
However, the missions were doomed. Successive epidemics of smallpox had killed well over half of the once-powerful Huron nation. The Huron, quite naturally, grew suspicious of the Black Robes. It seemed wherever they went, this strange and deadly illness appeared. Worse, the Huron’s ancient enemy, the Iroquois, took advantage of their weakness to attack. Starting in 1647, they set Huronia ablaze as they destroyed one village after another. Finally they set upon the Jesuit missions. Over one thousand Iroquois launched an attack on St. Ignace, about five miles from St. Marie along the shore. Only three of the mission’s four hundred Huron escaped death or capture. Next, they attacked St. Louis, where they captured two Jesuits, Jean de Brebeuf and Gabriel Lalement, and tortured them to death in grisly fashion. Fearing an assault, Sainte-Marie’s residents abandoned the mission, which they burned as they left. On Georgian Bay’s Christian Island, the Huron and Jesuits built Saint-Marie II and settled in for the winter. Hundreds died from starvation; those who ventured across the ice to the main land to hunt risked death by Iroquois war bands. In June 1650, the French, accompanied by about 300 Christian Hurons, left for Quebec. The remainder of the Huron dispersed among other friendly tribes. The once strong Huron nation, and the Jesuits’ dream of a new Christian society, had disappeared from Ontario forever. But the ruins of Sainte-Marie weren’t forgotten. In the early 20th century interest in the site grew, leading to extensive archaeological work beginning in the 1940s. In 1967, a meticulously researched, full-scale reconstruction of the mission on her original site was open to the public (though work wouldn’t be completely finished until the following year). After 300 years, Sainte-Marie had risen again from the ashes. >>
IN THE EARLY 20TH CENTURY INTEREST IN THE SITE GREW, LEADING TO EXTENSIVE ARCHAEOLOGICAL WORK BEGINNING IN THE 1940S… AFTER 300 YEARS,
SAINTE-MARIE HAD RISEN AGAIN FROM
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VISITING When you visit Sainte-Marie among the Hurons, you walk
through a recreated village to witness a bit of early 17th century life in what was then the wilderness of Ontario. As you explore the historic site, you’ll sense the challenges faced by those who founded and lived at this famous mission (a location so remote, a letter took two years to travel to France), as well as the religious conviction that drove the Jesuits to face such hardships. Throughout the summer season, daily existence at the mission is brought to life in informative demonstrations by costumed staff and “hands-on” activities every day that share aspects of life in the 17th century. These include fire-starting and cooking, native games, period music, and the medicinal techniques employed by Jesuits and Native peoples. Your visit begins with a colourful audio-visual presentation in the theatre that sets the stage for your journey. When the lights turn on at the end of the short film, a wall in the theatre slides open and your doorway to the 17th century presents itself. A few steps later and you find yourself transported 370 years into the past. The first building you’ll come to is a soldier’s barracks, flanked by stone bastions that lend the mission a distinctly military impression. In truth, military presence was limited. 22 soldiers were garrisoned here in 1644, but the number had sunk to only 6 in 1649 even as the threat to the region by the Iroquois was looming. A number of stone bastions, and several lengths of stone wall, were constructed in 1647 to make up for the lack of soldiers. Two stone bastions have been rebuilt around the standing remains of original structures. Elsewhere on-site, original stonework excavated in 1941 has been preserved as they represent the first European masonry in Ontario. Another highlight is the blacksmith shop, which was originally staffed by a Jesuit lay brother. The Huron were so impressed by the blacksmith’s skills they called the French Agnonha, or ‘iron people.’ Iron was scarce due to the difficulty in transporting it by canoe and so was used sparingly. Because coal was not available, Sainte-Marie’s blacksmith would have often relied on wood embers for his forge making the heating of metal a challenging task. Items that were manufactured at Sainte-Marie included nails, hinges, spikes and small structural items. The Jesuits proved as skilled in agricultural pursuits as in spreading the word of God. The granary is impressive in size, and needed to be as the mission boasted a three-year surplus of corn grown in fields outside its walls. As worshipping Catholics, the priests grew wheat for sacramental bread and culti-
vated local grapes for wine. A barn housed chickens, pigs and cows; milk and eggs were important for French diets and pork supplemented the vegetarian diet of the Huron. Livestock had to be carefully selected to survive the harsh conditions of frontier Canada; watch for Houdan chickens, with their plumed heads, and Canadienne cattle, a particularly rugged breed. The heart of the mission, quite naturally, is the Church of Saint Joseph. Built to accommodate the spiritual needs of the Huron, and to inspire interest in Christianity, the Church of Saint Joseph represents Jesuit efforts to bridge cultural divides between the native and French cultures. Here, visitors solemnly look upon the graves of the martyred priests, Jean de Brebeuf and Gabriel Lalemant. Elsewhere on-site, one finds a smaller chapel exclusively used for European-style worship by the Jesuits. Other sites of particular interest include Sainte-Marie’s hospital, the first in Ontario; a waterway whose exact purpose remains unknown and controversial to this day (was it a locked canal permitting canoe entrance from the river as reconstructed, or was it perhaps the race for a gristmill, a source for fresh water, or even a means of draining the wet soil?); and the Huron longhouse, where you listen to the retelling of native legends. Complete your tour at the Sainte-Marie Museum which puts the mission in historic context. The museum explains the motives and transportation of early explorers, the society and culture they left behind in Europe, what they came to do in New France, and how they learned to adapt to a new way of life in Huronia. Visitors also learn about the fur trade, the role of the canoe in opening up Canada, and the 20th century processes of archaeological excavation and reconstruction of Sainte-Marie. Among the exhibits are hundreds of fascinating artifacts excavated from the ruins of Sainte-Marie. One artifact on display in 2017 stands out: Samuel de Champlain’s Astrolabe. This navigational aid, found in 1867 in Cobden, Ontario, and attributed to the famed explorer brings us closer to the man and his role as an explorer who initiated contact with the First Nations cultures he encountered. It’s one of only a handful of astrolabes on display in the world today. Take the short drive to Midland’s Sainte-Marie among the Hurons, a trip measured not in miles but in years—more than 370 years, in fact. There you’ll discover one of Ontario’s most historically relevant and immersive sites, and experience an early example of the cultural diversity that makes modern Canada so special. TM
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//ABOUT TOWN PICK YOUR OWN PRODUCE Niagara is full of farms that allow you to pick your own fruit, and depending on what season you visit in, you could be picking anything from peaches to strawberries. Check out niagarafamilies.com/friendly-farmspick-your-own
A NIAGARA BUCKET LIST Every place you visit has those quintessential experiences that all visitors should try, at least once, and well, Niagara is no exception. These are some of the things we think you should put on your Niagara bucket list. >> TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 71
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SPEND AN AFTERNOON IN RIDGEWAY
HIKE THE NIAGARA GLEN
Ridgeway is a picturesque town perched on the shores of Lake Erie. It is the perfect place to spend a summer afternoon, and if it’s small town charm you are looking for, you’ll surely find it here. The shops are eclectic and locally run, and there are numerous tasty restaurants (and one brewery), to choose from. There are two museums: Fort Erie Historical Museum and Ridgeway Battlefield Museum if you want to learn about the history of the area. And of course the beach is there, if you want to relax for a bit. Also, make sure to check out the boutique movie theatre while you are there, it’s a great cinematic experience!
Although it can get busy, this is one of the coolest areas in the region to go hiking. You can get right next to the Niagara Whirlpool and see for yourself just how powerful it is. There is nothing but nature down in the Glen, so make sure you bring lots of water and snacks to keep you fueled. >>
CLIMB BROCK MONUMENT Queenston Heights is one of the nicest parks in Niagara, and the focus of it all is the towering Brock Monument. The spiral staircase inside the monument has 235 steps and the descent will reward you with an unprecedented view!
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TRY SOME NIAGARA SPECIALTIES! At Beechwood Donuts, all of the vegan donuts are a must try but the cookies and cream is my favourite. Justin Trudeau himself paid a visit (but he was able to skip the omnipresent line. 5 James St, St. Catharines) Don’t be fooled by the name, Country Fresh Donuts is the local go-to for consistently delicious homemade won ton soup (5076 Victoria Ave, Niagara Falls - be prepared it’s cash only). De La Terre Café and Grill is a must for bread and pastry lovers their sourdough bread (and most of their pastries) uses spelt that is grown on a local family farm and is made at their own bakery in Vineland (3839 Main, Jordan Station).
Photo: Justin Morabito and Sarah Thomas, Love Always Photography
Dillion’s Distillery (4833 Tufford Rd., Beamsville) is a small batch family run distillery that makes their own specialty whiskey, rye, gin, vodka and bitters from natural base ingredients and infused & finished with fine botanicals and wood.
ICE CREAM HEAVEN
Ask anyone in Niagara, and they most likely have been to “the big Avondale”. It’s a Niagara institution that has been around since 1955. It’s the tastiest trip back in time ever, and if you are here during the summer months, make sure not to miss it! Avondale Dairy Bar (461 Stewart Rd., Niagara-on-the-Lake.) >>
GO ON A WINE TOUR
There are so many wineries opening up and offering new and different things, that no two wine tours are the same. And while sometimes playing tourist in your own town doesnâ€™t start out to be the most exciting of adventures, there is a something about getting lost in wine country for the afternoon that makes for the perfect summer adventure. Donâ€™t know where to start? Start driving and see which winery calls to you! TM
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Life is better at the beach, isn’t it? Sand under your toes, a donut shaped floaty in hand, the rhythmic lulling sound of water hitting the shoreline; it is the material dreams are made of. This is why people continue to flood the shorelines during the summer months for a good dose of vitamin D. Niagara is home to a vast network of world class beaches and parks that border a few of Ontario’s Great Lakes. These free admission beaches not only feature sandy strips of sand and clear swimmable water, but are also surrounded by world class restaurants, access to land and water recreational sports and green spaces for all ages. So pack up your canvas tote, grab the sunblock and a best seller and head out into the sun and onto one of Niagara Region’s best beaches.
Long rated one of Niagara’s top attractions, Crystal Beach is the closest beach goers can get to a tropical getaway in their own backyard. Located on Lake Erie, Crystal Beach’s Caribbean rated sandy beaches, shallow clear waters and barely there undertow have made the small town famous amongst Ontario beach goers. This small beachfront community turned tourism hotspot continues year after year to draw thousands of beach goers over the summer months. Historically made famous in the late 1800’s by its boardwalks, bathhouses, amusement parks, hotels and seemingly endless throngs of ferry passengers, the pristine Crystal Beach enjoyed a reputation as a destination like no other. Today Crystal Beach continues to be a destination within Ontario although slightly quieter than its yester years; however no longer home to an amusement park, Crystal Beach continues to house a variety of specialty shops, a yoga studio, day spas, fine and casual dining opportunities and lakefront nightlife – combining for the perfect weekend getaway. Crystal Beach is also known for their bike paths, fishing hot spots and Point Abino Bay – the perfect backdrop for sailing and water sports.
By Gabrielle Tieman
LAKESIDE PARK BEACH Located in picturesque Port Dalhousie, this beach has remained one of the most popular in the region for its abundance of activities and short walking distance from Port Dalhousie’s main street – home to a number of restaurants, craft breweries and shops. Along with a large strip of sandy beach which borders Lake Ontario, Lakeside Park Beach also features over 5.3 hectares of picnic area adorned with playground equipment, dressing rooms, washrooms, parking and a pavilion – a popular birthday party spot during the summer months. The park is also home to the Lakeside Park Carousel – a traditional hand carved carousel which has resided in the park for almost 100 years. A single ride only costs a nickel and the structure is
available for rent for photography purposes and events. The carousel is one of approximately 350 antique hand carved carousels still operating in North America - only nine of which reside in Canada. The park also gives access to the Waterfront Trail, Port Dalhousie Harbour Walkway and pier – which runs into the water adjacent to Port Dalhousie’s Pier Marina. Work to enhance Lakeside Park began in early 2017 with support through the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program, the Niagara Region’s Lakefront Enhancement Program and the City of St. Catharines. Upgrades to Lakeside Park will include a new pavilion and band shell, renovated washrooms and concession stands and a new accessible play structure.
// A B O U T T O W N
S T. C AT H A R I N E S
SUNSET BEACH Located on the Southern shore of Lake Ontario in the North end of St. Catharines, Sunset Beach has come to be known as a hidden treasure in the region; due to its moderately hidden entrance in Malcolmson Park, the beach is very quiet for its size and not well known outside the surrounding community. Sunset Beach, formerly known as Municipal Beach, was aptly renamed in 2015 after the beautiful sunsets that can be observed from its shorelines – a popular spot for local photographers and romance seekers. Though quiet, the beach is not small; Sunset Beach is St. Catharines’ largest lake side park, offering over 1,200 feet of sandy beach area. Along with its beautiful sandy beaches ideal for a day spent in the sand, the park also offers a waterfront trail that runs along the shores of the Lake, a playground, beach volleyball courts, public washrooms (open seasonally) and a boat launch area. There are also benches along the trail facing the lake which offer the perfect area to relax and watch the sunset. Access to the beach as well as parking is free. Sunset Beach also offers a free public boat launch for small watercrafts during the boating season and daylight hours.
NICKEL BEACH Located on Lake Erie at the southern end of downtown Port Colborne, Nickel Beach’s untouched and preserved natural areas are perfect for both recreational activities, relaxing days spent on the water and exploring the great outdoors. This public beach contains over two kilometers of white sands, shaded picnic spots, washrooms and open areas for beach volleyball and soccer. The water is renowned for being shallow and clear and free of noise pollution. Nature lovers will be interested in exploring the sand dune formations which connect with the Carolinian Forest – a rare portion of preserved forest region that can be found scattered throughout eastern North America and characterized primarily by its rich plant presence and concentration of deciduous [broad-leaf] trees. A daily or seasonal access pass is required for all vehicles looking to park on the beach. Access is free for those who choose to park elsewhere and walk to the beach. TM
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BY GABRIELLE TIEMAN
AUGUST Annually throughout the summer the Niagara Region, Muskokas and city of Toronto host a vast selection of both small and large scale festivals and events – drawing both locals and visitors alike to partake in and enjoy. There is no lack of things to do when deciding how to fill those sweet summer weekends and vacation hours.
SECRET THEATRE NIAGARA ON THE LAKE | AUG. 1
Embracing the magic and mystery of theatre, members of the Shaw Theatre will perform a number of surprise performances in the strangest places throughout Niagara. Join The Shaw’s Secret Theatre Club for advance notifications of these events. Mystery shows at mystery locations – you’re never quite sure what you will witness!
CANAL DAYS MARINE HERITAGE FESTIVAL PORT COLBORNE, NIAGARA | AUG. 4-7
History buffs and lovers of everything nautical rejoice at the annual Canal Days festival – held annually along the water in picturesque downtown Port Colborne. Celebrating their 39th year, the free Marine Heritage festival –held every civic holiday weekend – gathers hundreds of thousands of visitors for a four day celebration of history along the canal. Travel aboard pirate-worthy ships docked along the canals, cruise the waterways and learn the history of the marine community on a guided tour or take in the sights and nightly fireworks from the deck of your own boat on Lake Erie. The festival also hosts Ontario’s largest outdoor Classic Car and International Kite show, two days of concerts and live entertainment, a children’s midway and an indoor craft show.
MIDNIGHT MADNESS STREET FESTIVAL BRACEBRIDGE | AUG. 4
Renowned as the largest shopping event in Bracebridge, the annual Midnight Madness Street Festival, held from 6 p.m. to midnight, features fun and bargains for the whole family. Shop the street vendors, enjoy live music – including a Blue Rodeo Tribute Band – and take the kids to the Memorial Park Kids Zone for midway games, face painting and more. >>
SAWDUST CITY MUSIC FESTIVAL GRAVENHURST I AUG. 4-6
In Celebration of Canada’s 150th, the Sawdust City Music Festival is launching in Gravenhurst at the Sawdust City Brewery. The three day festival is the creation of renowned Canadian singer-songwriter and musician Miranda Mulholland. The inaugural festival will feature an incredible lineup of musicians, including the Jim Cuddy Family Band, and additional artists including local musicians Bet Smith & The Currie Bros, C&C Surf Factory, Devin Cuddy, Zachary Lucky, Jessica Mitchell, NQ Arbuckle and more to be announced. Apart from fantastic music, programming will also include an evening of music at the Opera House, a free Songwriters’ Workshop, a Sawdust Stripped Down acoustic series and a free concert on Sunday evening as part of the Music on the Barge series.
SESSION MUSKOKA CRAFT BEER FESTIVAL ANNIE WILLIAMS PARK BRACEBRIDGE I AUG. 5
Celebrating a love for craft beer, the 9th Annual GRIFFIN SESSION Muskoka beer festival will once again overtake Annie Williams Park with everything hops and barley. Formerly known as the Muskoka Beer Festival, this over 19 years of age festival showcases over 30 Ontario craft breweries on site – including Muskoka Brewery, Pommies Cider Co., Collingwood Brewery, St. Ambroise, Beaus Brewery and more. There will also be Ontario wine, cider, and spirits available for those who choose not to partake in the beer as well as food vendors to help balance the flowing beverages. Plenty of live musical acts will be taking to the main stage throughout the day and the annual Brewmaster’s Olympics will once again pit teams of four beer-athletes against each other in a series of games designed specially to test your mental, physical, verbal skills – while under the influence. Tickets start at $52 dollars.
ROTARY RIBFEST MONTEBELLO PARK, ST. CATHARINES I AUG. 4-6
Savoury ribs, deep fried blooming onions and award winning barbeque from across North America gather together in downtown St. Catharines to overwhelm both senses and stomachs with all American favourites. Held annually in Montebello Park over the civic weekend, the admission free festival also features a number of unique vendors, a beer tent, an inflatable parks for the kids and continuous live music to entertain pulled pork consumers – including Practically Hip, a tragically hip cover band, Soul Jam and others. All proceeds from Ribfest are donated back into the community.
VELD MUSIC FESTIVAL DOWNSVIEW PARK, TORONTO I AUG. 5-6
One of the city’s greatest electronic and hip hop festivals returns with an impressive lineup that includes top artists on the EDM scene Future, Major Lazer, Tiesto, Future, Major Lazer, Zeds, Migos, Tory Lanez and way more. The festival is entirely held in the picturesque Downsview Park in North York in Toronto. Tickets prices range between $99.50-$109.50 for a single day and $179.50 for two day access to the festival. Payment plans as well as VIP admission packages are also available.
ROGERS CUP AVIVA CENTRE, TORONTO I AUG. 5-14
The best female tennis players in the world will gather in Toronto to compete for the Rogers Cup – the third oldest title in the tennis world. Organized by Tennis Canada in 1892 and offering over $3 million dollars in prize money, the Rogers Cup draws thousands of tennis enthusiasts annually to watch the sport and cheer on their favourites – so plan accordingly and give yourself lots of time to get to the game. Past champions have included household names Serena Williams, Belinda Bencic, Caroline Wozniacki and others. Ticket prices range according to event and package – from $15 - $115 dollars depending on events and seat choice. Premium club packages are also available and offer VIP discounts, access to events and more.
ROYAL CANADIAN HENLEY REGATTA PORT DALHOUSIE, NIAGARA I AUG. 6-13
The famous rowing event will make St. Catharines its home for a week. Celebrating 135 years of rowing, Canada once again invited the best collegiate rowers from across the globe to participate in the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta. This sporting event annually attracts thousands of competitors and is celebrated with an opening ceremony and fireworks.
DOCKSIDE FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS GRAVENHURST I AUG. 18-20
Celebrating 26 years of Gravenhurst, the festival annually showcases over 100 juried artisans, gourmet food and local musicians for three days of fun in the sun. The Gravenhurst Chamber of Commerce initiated the festival back in 1991 – attracting residents, cottagers and visitors to browse the artists’ booths, listen to music, and indulge their taste buds while celebrating the best of Gravenhurst. Apart from beautiful harmonics, the festival includes a diverse array of unique attractions and events; including hot air balloon rides, pottery artisans, self-taught artist demonstrations and more.
SWEETERY DOWNTOWN TORONTO I AUG. 12-13
Canada’s largest Sweets Festival makes its third appearance celebrating local chefs, culinary students and the arts. Held once again in David Pecaut Square, the multi-day festival is a feast for all of the senses. Special guests include Masterchef Canada Season 2 winner, Christopher Siu and post-grad students of the Advance French Patisserie class from George Brown College. There will also be plenty of live music, sweet and savoury vendors and a series of fun-filled, interactive games; including events that will score you a sweet prize, but also will be benefiting the community sponsor, Second Harvest – the largest food rescue program in Canada. For a small donation (or a large one), you will be able to test your knowledge and your wits in six different challenges ranging from a candy trivia to a gumball shake.
NIAGARA SUMMER CONCERT SERIES JACKSON TRIGGS, NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE I AUG 11-SEPT 8
Make the stars and vineyards your backdrop for an evening of unsurpassed award-winning wines, gourmet food, and the performing arts. Staged in an openair amphitheater, Jackson Triggs’ world-class winery hosts a now locally famous Summer Concert Series – presented annually from June through September. Aug. 11: The Trews Acoustic Aug. 12: Rheostatics Aug. 18: The Sheepdogs Aug. 19: Rootstock - featuring Torquil Campbell (STARS) & Ron Sexsmith Aug. 25: Blackie and the Rodeo Kings August 26: Bahamas Sept. 7-8: The Jim Cuddy Band
NIAGARA ON THE LAKE PEACH FESTIVAL NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE I AUG. 12-13
Celebrating the sweetest member of Niagara’s agricultural family, Niagara-onthe-Lake’s two day Peach Festival is not to be missed. A buffet of everything peaches, restaurants, amateur bakers and professional chefs all come together to try their hand at elevating the region’s famed fruit. Peach pies, peach ice cream, jam and many other peach related treats are available to purchase and take home or try on premises as you enjoy live entertainment, salsa music and local wine and craft beer. You can also enjoy peach inspired menus at a number of Niagara-on-the-Lake’s 17 signature kitchens.
SEPTEMBER TORONTO INTERNATIONAL BUSKERFEST WOODBINE PARK, TORONTO I SEPT. 1-4
Witness some of the most spectacular and jaw dropping street performers in North American as they take over Toronto for North America’s largest street performer festival. Comedians, contortionists, musicians, magicians, fire jugglers, acrobats, aerial artists, sword swallowers, clowns and daredevils all come together in celebration of the alternative performing arts. Comedy clubs on street corners, fearless and spontaneous acrobatics and a dash of the unbelievable; this can all be witnessed during four days and four nights of non-stop, action-packed, fun-filled entertainment. Festival admission is by donation to festival organizers, Epilepsy Toronto, collected by our volunteers at the main entrances to the festival. Each performer collects their own remunerations by passing a hat after their performance, which goes directly to that performer or act.
TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL TORONTO I SEPT. 7-17
One of the world’s leading public film festivals, this nationally acclaimed event has become the biggest and brightest public film festival on the planet. For the 42nd year, the festival will host world premieres, cutting-edge film, galas and industry extravaganzas – all which come together to make TIFF the illustrious annual event it is – and the one that cannot be missed. The festival annually draws some of the biggest stars on the planet and has been known to predict Oscar winning films months before the event. In 2016, 397 films from over 80 countries were screened on 28 screens throughout downtown Toronto venues and drew an estimated 480 000 attendees – over five thousand of whom were industry professionals. Whether you’re a cinephile or just love to see the celebs, TIFF is the place to be. Visit their website for ticket pricing and schedules [yet to be announced at time of publication]. >>
FIGMENT TORONTO DUFFERIN GROVE PARK, TORONTO I AUG. 19
Toronto’s best annual participatory art festival. Free and appropriate for all ages, participants must prepare their minds to truly emerge themselves in interactive art from all disciplines. This non-profit rain or shine event is held annually in Dufferin Grove Park, transforming the park into a showcase for art and activities in every medium available; with the goal to create a large-scale collaborative artwork. This art event aims to change and redefine how all ages interact with art by creating an event that is artist, volunteer and community focused.
CANADIAN NATIONAL EXHIBITION EXHIBITION PLACE, TORONTO I AUG. 18 – SEPT. 4
Let’s go to the ex! This annual fair has become a favourite over the years and the best way to wave goodbye to the summer with the entire family. Toronto’s Exhibition Place becomes filled from corner to corner with midway rides, street buskers, live music and innovative food trucks [fried mac and cheese on a stick? Yes please]. There will also be a craft beer festival, celebrity chef demonstrations, international acrobatic performances and so much more – you will definitely need to visit for multiple days! The National Trade Centre will also once again feature an International Marketplace with goods spanning the globe along with innovative products. There will also be traditional horse shows, dog shows and more to entertain both young and old. The 68th annual Canadian International Air Show (CIAS) will once again grace the Toronto airways and soar over Lake Ontario for Labour Day weekend with another awe-inspiring show featuring thrilling performances.
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FAN EXPO CANADA Metro Toronto Convention Centre I AUG. 31 – SEPT. 3
Anime otaku, sci-fi fanatics and gaming groupies unite for four days of celebrating all things pop culture. Fan Expo Canada is the largest comics, sci-fi, horror, anime and gaming event in Canada and the third largest in North America. Packed with exciting familyfriendly activities and celebrity guests, fans interact with the likes of Patrick Stewart (Star Trek: The Next Generation), Richard Dreyfuss (Jaws), Stephen Amell (Arrow), Ian Somerhalder (The Vampire Diaries), Danai Gurira (The Walking Dead), and more. The convention centre is also jam packed with vendors selling everything from collector items to ninja stars, posters and replica figurines. The pop culture extravaganza annually draws over 125 thousand fans to the ticketed event. Tickets range from $25 to $65 dollars and can be purchased online or at the box office.
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GRAPE AND WINE FESTIVAL THROUGHOUT NIAGARA REGION I SEPT. 8-24
The famous month-long celebration of Niagara’s greatest bounty, agriculture and globally recognized achievement: wine. Returning for the 65th year, the annual festival will once again encompass over 100 celebrations and special events held throughout the region throughout the month of September; ensuring there is no lack of activity to partake in or wine flight to taste. The home base of the Niagara Wine Festival can be found in historic Montebello Park in downtown St. Catharines for two back-to-back weekends in September to showcase the best in VQA wines and regional cuisine presented by top local chefs and winemakers. Over 50 wineries, restaurants, craft breweries and vendors set up shop in the park to offer samples, showcase unique vintages and educate on their unique brand and produce; proving why the event is recognized as a top 100 event in Canada. Other festival highlights include the family favourite Meridian Grande Parade held on the final Saturday morning of the festival and the unique wine tours and special pairings offered at many of the wineries throughout the region; many of whom also hold their own celebrations on premises in conjunction with the festival.
MAJESTIC MONARCH EVENT NIAGARA ON THE LAKE I SEPT. 9-10
This educational event held at Niagara Parks Butterfly Conservatory – home to over two thousand butterflies made up of over 45 different species – will be an eye opener and widely fascinating for every member of the family. Learn about the migration of the Monarch Butterfly, how to help preserve and protect the Monarch butterfly in your own natural habitat and neighborhood and explore educational presentations in Niagara Falls. Admission for adults is $14.55 plus tax and $9.45 plus tax for children six to 12-years-old.
BRACEBRIDGE FALL FAIR AND HORSE SHOW BRACEBRIDGE I SEPT. 15-17
Celebrating its 150th anniversary, the Bracebridge
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Fall Fair and Horse Show, held at the J.D. Lang Park, is one of Canada’s oldest annual fairs and a cherished tradition to the community. Operated by the Bracebridge Agricultural Society – a volunteer-driven, community-minded, registered non-profit charitable organization – the objective is to encourage an awareness of agriculture and the environment by providing opportunities, education and improvements to the quality of life for all citizens. The tradition of the fall fair provides a venue for local citizens to show their quality livestock, fruits and vegetables, flowers and handiwork to friends, family and neighbours who can also enjoy the many other activities that are available to fairgoers. There will also be a midway, rides, food and concession stands and lots of live entertainment. Admission is five to ten dollars per day per person.
JUST FOR LAUGHS 42 SONY CENTRE & VARIOUS LOCATIONS, TORONTO SEPT. 21-30
42 cool things. 10 days. 1 pass; just for Laughs 2017 presents a revamped interactive event for Toronto’s premiere comedy festival. Over the ten days, some of North America’s most riveting and relevant comedians will have audiences splitting their seats as they headline shows throughout the city. In addition to the headliners you have to choose from, there are 42 other amazing comedy acts to check out. Individual tickets to shows are available for purchase as well as one all-encompassing pass for the comedy enthusiast.
NUIT BLANCHE VARIOUS LOCATIONS THROUGHOUT TORONTO I SEPT. 30
Once a year the familiar streets and parks of downtown Toronto are magically transformed into an artistic playground for a sleepless night of elaborate light installations, contemporary artistic exhibitions, live performances and creative programs. From sunset to sunrise, experience a city transformed by artists; since its inaugural night, this award-winning event has featured nearly 1,300 art installations by approximately 4,600 artists. TM
NIAGARA’S U LT I M AT E ADVENTURE! FULLY GUIDED WHITEWATER TOUR
SHARING THE LAUGHS, CELEBRATIONS & NEW BEGINNINGS
DAN PASCO & LENNOX LEWIS
The Fight To End Cancer June 30, Scotiabank
Centre – a year round initiative carried out by ambassadors, sponsors and volunteers worldwide. Founded by Jennifer Huggins, over $700,000 has been donated since their inaugural year in 2012. Funds raised by FTEC are donated directly to the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation.
RIBBON CUTTING – FENA INSURANCE SOLUTIONS INC.
June 30, 850 Dorchester Road, Niagara Falls – Mayor Jim Diodatti (centre) with Jack Muraco, (to his left) founder and owner of the brokerage at the grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony for their new location.
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GRAND OPENING – LAKEVIEW WINE MAYOR JIM DIODATI & WAYNE THOMSPON
May, 2017. – Lakeview Wine Company’s Grand Opening celebrations in NOTL. Pictured are Nicholas Wallace, Jessica Wallace,Jennifer McGregor, Scott McGregor. FRANK PIRILLO & GUEST
JOE & SARAH FRAGNITO
BERNIE BENARDI & GUEST
SUPPIE & MARYANN TOKUC
LOU & SYLVIA GROTTOLA
GROUND BREAKING – UPPER VISTA DEVELOPMENTS JOSH PASCO &CHRIS JOHNSON
July 12, Thundering Waters, Niagara Falls – The official groundbreaking and reception for Upper Vista Luxury Condominiums (10-storey, 150-unit condominium complex) with Niagara Falls mayor Jim Diodati. Pictured are Selina Volpatti, Mayor Jim Diodatti, Ted Zhou (President of Evertrust Development Group Canada Inc.) and Dragan Matovic.
BREATHTAKING VIEWS OF THE FALLS DAY AND NIGHT
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